‘Swicy’ Snacks Are This Summer’s Hottest Food Trend

By Ellie Smith

3 weeks ago

Spicy flavours are dominating the food and drinks sphere


Spicy margs have been climbing up in the cocktail ranks for a couple of years now, overtaking Pornstar Martinis as the drink of the moment. But now the spicy/sweet hybrid is expanding elsewhere in the food and drink industry, with piquant flavours popping up everywhere from ice cream to popcorn. It’s official: ‘swicy’ treats are in – and the trend is here to stay, according to experts.

What Is The ‘Swicy’ Trend?

‘Swicy’ food combinations, which blend sweet and spicy flavours, are nothing new. They’ve been an integral part of a number of cuisines for hundreds of years, such as Thai, Korean and Mexican. However we’ve seen an upsurge in brands hopping aboard the trend lately, creating spicy twists of their signature products, particularly in America, where supermarkets like Walmart and Target are filled with ‘swicy’ snacks.

The latest big name to get involved is Starbucks, who introduced a new range of Spicy Lemonade Refreshers to its menu last month, with three flavours to choose from: Spicy Dragonfruit, Spicy Pineapple and Spicy Strawberry. Coca-Cola, meanwhile, has released a ‘spiced’ variation of its original soda recipe; Kettle Chips has launched a limited-edition gochujang flavour; and Subway has hopped on the bandwagon with a new range of fiery subs.

 

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According to market research firm Circana, US sales for food and drinks with ‘spicy’ in the description have increased nine percent year-on-year – and it’s expected this will continue to grow throughout 2024 and 2025.

‘The spicy trend is here to stay,’ food industry advisor Sally Lyons Wyatt of Circana told CNN. ‘My whole motto for a couple of years has been, “the hotter the better”, because consumers gravitate to it. Traditionally, it was younger consumers that were driving this but now we’ve seen bold flavours being embraced by most age groups, but the dominant are still younger consumers.

‘I think we are going to see a lot more of this,’ she added. ‘There is a push now and we do see both unit and dollar growth of spicy and swicy products.’ So what’s next? Lyons Wyatt predicts we’ll see sweet and spicy combinations expanding into other food categories, such as deli products and pizza varieties.

Keen to give it a go? Here are six ‘swicy’ food and drinks to try this summer.


Wilderbee Hot Honey

Wilderbee

Hot Honey, £7.99

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Pimentae

Spicy Margarita, £26.96

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Fortnum & Mason Chilli & Tomato Jam

Fortnum & Mason

Chilli & Tomato Jam, £6.95

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Thicc Sauce

Thiccc Sauce Seoul Food Korean Gochujang Hot Sauce, £7.99

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Montezuma’s

Chilli Bonkers Dark Organic Chocolate Bar, £3.49

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The Proper Marmalade Company

Hot Orange Marmalade, £4.50

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