Nearly 70% of respondents to the internationaSPl survey, which is part of DSM’s Global Insight Series launched last year to understand consumer trends, listed ‘spicy’ as one of their top three food choices.
Countries as varied as China, the US, Poland and Nigeria all ranked spicy food as a top three favourite in a list including ‘salty’, ‘sour’, ‘sweet and sour’, ‘plain or mild’, ‘bitter’ or ‘other’.
More than 80% of respondents in Africa say they like their food spicy, 66% in the US say the same, however, only 37% of Brazilians say they prefer intense and hot flavours in their foods.
Consumers are increasingly expecting rich and intense flavours from their home menus, as they would in ethnic restaurants, says Frank Meijer, application expert at DSM Food Specialities’ Savoury division.
Increasing in popularity
The use of spices was also increasing in popularity in snack foods, as well as in ready-to-eat dishes and consumers were also more open to complex flavours, says Meijer.
“Creating spiced foods is no longer a matter of adding a single ingredient such as chili or pepper: it’s a process of building a complex and satisfying flavour with spicy qualities at its core,” adds Meijer.