Spicy snacks are the hot new trend
By PAUL HIEBERT | Adweek | April 27, 2021
Americans eat about 150 billon Goldfish crackers each year, according to the brand, and very soon they’ll have the opportunity to turn up the heat: Goldfish and Frank’s RedHot have joined forces make a limited-edition hot sauce-flavored cracker, scheduled to arrive on store shelves nationwide in May.
Goldfish, owned by Campbell’s, claimed 35,000 people on social media asked for a hot version of the cheese crackers, making it the brand’s most in-demand product extension.
“We’ve seen ‘hot’ and ‘spicy’ Goldfish flavors requested by fans for some time now,” said Danielle Brown, vp of marketing for cookies and crackers at the Campbell Soup Company. “Knowing this, we turned to the brand that knew ‘hot’ the best, Frank’s RedHot sauce.”
Clamor for hot versions of salty snacks appears to be growing louder across the industry. Instacart, for example, reported the number of deliveries including hot or spicy snacks increased 42% last month compared to March 2020.
Earlier this month, grower-owned cooperative Blue Diamond announced a new lineup of almonds in the flavors cayenne pepper, ghost pepper and Carolina reaper. PepsiCo chip brand Ruffles recently debuted a Flamin’ Hot BBQ offering in partnership with Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics. In January, sister brand Lay’s promoted its Flamin’ Hot flavor with an ad campaign featuring Nelly and an altered version of his 2002 hit song, “Hot in Herre.”
Hot snacks a hit with the youth
New survey data from the Harris Poll shows hot snacks are most popular among younger shoppers. Nearly half of all U.S. adults (52%) say they purchase spicy packaged snack foods, such as crackers, chips or popcorn, but that percentage is even larger for youth: 73% of Gen Z and 69% of Millennials.
Additional data, however, shows there might not be much more room to grow. Around three in four Millennials and members of Gen Z say a hot version of their favorite packaged snack food already exists.
One of the nation’s most popular snack brands, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, is also about to get more attention. In June, Penguin Random House is releasing Flamin’ Hot: The Incredible True Story of One Man’s Rise from Janitor to Top Executive, a book written by the snack line’s inventor, Richard Montañez. In the fall, Fox Searchlight is scheduled to release a biopic of Montañez directed by Eva Longoria.