Is spicy the new sour?

Sweet and heat meet in a growing number of snacks and confections pairing peppers with fruit, honey or chocolate.

“From flavors like honey sriracha to mango chipotle, confectioners and snack manufacturers both are increasingly turning to sweet to balance out hot, spicy or tangy flavors,” Ms. Whiteside said. “We’ve certainly seen some of that in the candy industry before with Red Hots and Atomic Fireball, but this is taking those flavors to the next level and really experimenting with different heat sources as well as different sweet sources.”

From Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., a subsidiary of Mars, Inc., comes Skittles Sweet Heat and Starburst Sweet Heat. Both variants feature each brand’s classic fruity candies with a spicy twist.

Curry Cashew, a new chocolate bar variety from Vivra Chocolate, packs warm, aromatic spices with sweet and salty toasted cashews in milk chocolate. Little Bird Kitchen adds candied jalapeños to dark, milk and white chocolate in a line of Fire Bites and Fire Bark.


Combining sour, sweet and heat, Hotheads Extreme Heat Worms from Impact Confections are available in original and tropical varieties.

“Hot and spicy products are a growing segment that is no longer just for adults, so why not bring it to candy?” said Jeff Rome, chief executive officer of Impact Confections, which makes Warheads sour candies. “From there, the Hotheads brand was born.”


New sweet and spicy snacks featured at the show include honey habanero beef jerky from Genius Jerky and, from Hawaiian Host’s Mauna Loa brand, macadamia nuts in mango chipotle and honey sriracha flavors.