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Operators turn up the heat with spicy flavors

Some like it hot, some like it spicy and some are constantly on the hunt for maximum heat. Many diners scan menus for items that will tingle their taste buds in unexpected ways, and operators are trying to meet this demand creatively by adding spices in breading, sauces and more. And with an array of flavors that contribute to spicy foods, there are plenty of ways to satisfy diners’ cravings.

According to Technomic’s 2017 Flavor Consumer Trend Report, 27% of consumers say the reason they try new menu items is because they are looking for spicier flavors. When ordering spicy foods, 50% of consumers prefer items that are very spicy, while 27% say they prefer moderately spicy. Additionally, 27% of consumers say they love hot sauce and use it with a variety of foods, and another 36% say they like it and use it with certain foods.

This means that for operators, offering spicy flavors is a way to entice trial and grab a larger share of consumers’ dining dollars. Here’s how.

Uses sauces to add flavor

Whether a dish comes already spicy or not, many diners love to add more heat with hot sauces. According to Technomic’s 2017 Flavor Consumer Trend Report, the most preferred flavors in hot sauces are jalapeno, chili pepper, garlic, cayenne and chipotle. Making hot sauce available is one simple way to allow diners to control the heat of their meal.

Use spices to turn up the heat

Another way to add heat is in the preparation style with spices such as cayenne and chili powder in rubs and marinades. This technique lends itself particularly well to familiar proteins such as chicken, especially in trending dishes such as Nashville hot chicken.

Menu preparations that highlight heat

Nashville hot chicken strips and nuggets are a spicy meal that’s been climbing the charts, and not just in Music City. According to Technomic’s Menu Monitor, menu mentions of Nashville hot chicken strips/nuggets are up 33% year-over-year, and mentions of Nashville hot chicken entrees are up 10% year-over-year. Offering a Nashville hot chicken dish can be a way to generate excitement and offer consumers the heat they crave.

Tyson® Nashville Hot Chicken offers restaurants a way to serve a variety of chicken pieces including wings, thighs and breast filets. The chicken comes frozen, fully cooked and ready to prepare in small batches as needed, so diners get freshly prepared food every time. All of Tyson Foods Nashville Hot Chicken products come with signature Nashville hot sauce that’s easy to heat and pour over the chicken to add an extra kick of heat before serving. Serve favorites like boneless wings with a side of blue cheese dressing (or ranch) and celery sticks for a game-day app or happy hour deal.

Similarly, Nashville hot chicken thighs or breast filets are perfect for serving on the ever-popular chicken sandwich. Dressed with slaw or tangy pickles, they’re the perfect combination of hot and cool.

Spicy foods are what diners want. From fiery hot nachos to buffalo chicken sandwiches, Nashville hot chicken wings atop crisp salads and more, bold, spicy flavors are a sure way to keep customers happy. For fast and easy menu preps, consider Tyson® Nashville Hot Chicken products.

This post is sponsored by Tyson Foods, Inc.

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