Half of Canadians want chefs to spice things up

December 12 2017

Spice is hot right now with Canadians after research showed that almost half of consumers crave spicy flavors.

The 2017 Canadian Flavor Consumer Trend Report from food research group Technomic revealed that 49 percent of the 1,000 consumers surveyed demanded a heat kick from their food.

This enduring preference for heat presents opportunities for Canada-based restaurants and chefs to concoct new flavors and cuisines to test their diners, Technomic has claimed.

Anne Mills, manager of consumer insights at Technomic, explained: “The spicy trend is providing a growth avenue for a variety of new spices, seasonings and sauces, particularly those with an ethnic positioning.

“Expect to see operators incorporate more ethnic ingredients like sambal or peri peri to signal not only heat but flavor complexity and authenticity as well.”

Investigate how you could inject some spice into your dishes with our range of spices

Restaurants should be warned that simply slicing savage chillis into every dish won’t instantly equate to increased revenue. That’s because the report also revealed that 29 percent of consumers strongly agree that their flavor preferences change with the seasons, lending further backing to the fact that menu rotation is key to keeping diners interested and engaged.

Elsewhere, the research claimed that millennials are more likely than other consumers to actively seek out new, previously untasted flavors on a regular basis (21 percent to 16 percent).

On the whole though, diners aren’t as adventurous as they were two years ago. Close to six in ten consumers (58 percent) said they would be willing to spend more on a meal that features new flavors, which is down from 64 percent in 2015.

More than a third of consumers (35 percent) expect restaurants to offer signature flavors, while 32 percent are counting on the restaurants they visit to frequently introduce new flavors.

Where did spice come from? Find out in our history of spices

Photo: GMVozd/iStock