KANSAS CITY – North American consumers continue to demand hot and spicy flavor profiles. Data from the National Association of Convenience Retailers show spicy is the top flavor in the salty snacks category.

Two-thirds of consumers surveyed in 2021 said they prefer spicy and bold flavors, compared to 25% in 2020. Millennials and Gen Z show the strongest preference for new tastes, with 45% saying they prefer snacks with spicy flavors.

While the snack segment may make up a significant portion of hot and spicy innovation, the flavor profiles are migrating into other categories like canned tomatoes and ramen.

View slideshow of the latest “hot” innovation.