New products and menu items are ablaze with fiery flavors.
Hormel Foods Corp. in October launched limited-edition Hormel Ghost Reaper World’s Hottest Chili with Beans. The offering features Hormel’s signature chili with beans plus ghost pepper and Carolina reaper pepper.
"Chili is a dish that can be enjoyed so many different ways, whether it's straight out of the bowl, on a hot dog, incorporated into dips and other recipes, or as a pour on for a quick and delicious dinner upgrade," said Sarah Johnson, Hormel chili brand manager. "However fans want to enjoy their chili, for a short time they can lay stake to a pretty bold claim: that they've tasted the hottest canned chili in the world."
The Hershey Co.’s Paqui Tortilla Chips brand brought back its One Chip Challenge in September with a new recipe of its “world’s hottest chip,” the company said. The all-black, individually packaged tortilla chip stars the Carolina Reaper pepper and packs a new punch from Scorpion Pepper and Sichuan Peppercorn.
"The #OneChipChallenge is back with a vengeance and ready to deliver a knockout with the addition of Sichuan Peppercorn, known for producing numbing and tingling sensations," said Paqui brand manager Caitlin Moralic.
In October, Del Taco debuted a slate of new menu items featuring Cholula hot sauce.
The Cholula Crispy Chicken Taco features a crispy chicken strip, lettuce, grated cheddar cheese and Cholula hot sauce wrapped in a warm flour tortilla.
The Epic Cholula Crispy Chicken Burrito features crispy chicken strips, romaine and iceberg lettuce, sour cream, diced tomatoes, crispy tortilla strips and Cholula hot sauce wrapped in a warm, oversized flour tortilla.
The Cholula Loaded Fries feature Cholula hot sauce, seasoned beef, grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, diced onions and chopped cilantro on a bed of crinkle-cut fries.
The Cholula Egg & Cheese Breakfast Roller features scrambled eggs, grated cheddar cheese and Cholula hot sauce in a warm flour tortilla.
The Cholula Chorizo Breakfast Roller feature scrambled eggs, grated cheddar cheese, Cholula hot sauce and chorizo sausage wrapped in a warm flour tortilla.
The Cholula Bacon Breakfast Roller features scrambled eggs, grated cheddar cheese, Cholula hot sauce and bacon in a warm flour tortilla.
In October, Your Pie rolled out its new Craft Series lineup, including a new pizza, pasta, and cheese sticks featuring Mike’s Hot Honey.
The Hot Honey Pepperoni Pizza is a 10-inch pie with marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, sweet peppadew peppers, pickled jalapeños, feta, chopped basil and a drizzle of Mike’s Hot Honey.
The Sweet Heat Pepper Pasta is a baked pasta entrée featuring penne pasta, marinara sauce, sweet peppadew peppers, pepperoni, pickled jalapeños, melted mozzarella cheese, feta, chopped basil and Mike’s Hot Honey.
The Kickin Pepperoni Sticks are cheese sticks topped with pepperoni, pickled jalapeños and mozzarella drizzled with Mike’s Hot Honey.
PepsiCo, Inc.’s Mtn Dew brand has partnered with Houston-based hot sauce purveyor iBurn and 76ers player Joel Embiid to create Joel Embiid’s Hot Habanero Mtn Dew Hot Sauce. The companies surveyed consumers on what pepper flavor they would like — peri-peri, fatalii, habanero or datil — and nearly 40% voted for habanero. The new hot sauce features the fiery flavor of habanero with the Mtn Dew taste of citrus.
“I’m always looking for that extra kick of spice when I put hot sauce on my food, and no one knows how to bring the heat better than my friends at Mtn Dew,” Mr. Embiid said. “We sampled so many different flavors, spices and peppers while making the sauce. It was crazy. And the best part was that we got to bring Dew fans along for the ride. I think people will agree that there is no other hot sauce like this.”
Diageo, maker of Smirnoff, expanded availability of its Smirnoff Spicy Tamarind vodka in October. Containing 35% alcohol by volume (ABV), the beverage features a sweet tamarind flavor with notes of spicy Mexican chilies and lime.
"With the expansion of Smirnoff Spicy Tamarind in the US, we're inviting more consumers who are looking for a sweet and spicy treat to enjoy Spicy Tamarind with their loved ones during a festive time of year," said Gustavo Salguero, brand manager for Smirnoff. "While Spicy Tamarind is now becoming an iconic flavor in Mexico, we're also seeing an increasing trade and consumer interest for this sweet and spicy spirit in the US, as it is an authentic flavor those 21+ can easily enjoy at-home."
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit debuted two hot new sandwiches in May.
The Texas Hot Sandwich is loaded with Texas-style brisket, Texas hot barbecue sauce and jalapeños and served on a warm brioche bun.
The Wild Westerner features hickory-smoked pulled pork, Texas hot sauce, spicy cheddar kielbasa sausage, cheese, onion rings, pickles and jalapeños on a toasted bun.
The Kraft Heinz Co.’s Planters brand in February added two new fiery flavors to its line of Cheez Balls cheese-flavored corn snacks: Blazin’ Hot and Jalapeño Cheddar
“There has been incredible excitement around the return of Planters Cheez Balls over the past few years,” said Samantha Hess, brand manager for Planters. “We know fans love the cheesy flavor of Cheez Balls, but they also crave new and interesting flavor options. We created these new versions to give fans what they want, and we can’t wait for America to get their hands on them.”
Two new spicy sandwiches landed on the Whataburger menu in October.
The Hatch Green Chili Bacon Burger features two all-beef patties topped with Hatch green chiles, bacon, American cheese, Monterey Jack cheese and mayo on a five-inch toasted bun.
The Spicy Chicken Sandwich include a marinated crispy chicken filet topped with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and mayo on a toasted four-inch bun.
Pizza Hut in March introduced Nashville Hot Wings, featuring a cayenne pepper sauce with a blend of tangy, savory and sweet flavors. The wings may be ordered in traditional or bone-out styles.
“Pizza Hut is kicking the heat up with its hottest flavor yet, inspired by the mouthwatering, sweat-inducing Nashville-style spice and southern heat,” Pizza Hut said.