Marketing

America’s favorite hot sauce brands, ranked

Ahead of National Hot Sauce Day, Instacart and The Harris Poll conducted research surrounding preferences and consumption habits.
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Giphy — SrirachaMovie.com

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National Hot Sauce Day is this Saturday, so consider this your free pass to eat as many hot wings as you want, guilt-free. Let’s call it a warm-up for Super Bowl Sunday.

To mark the occasion, Instacart analyzed hot-sauce purchases and worked with The Harris Poll to survey more than 2,000 US adults (1,422 of whom said they eat hot sauce) about their favorite brands in the category and more. The research comes as more and more brands, ranging from Mountain Dew to Goldfish, give their signature products a spicy twist.

We broke down some of the insights that might be most useful to marketers.

And the winner is…Huy Fong Sriracha, the top hot sauce sold through Instacart by weight. Frank’s RedHot took second place, and Cholula placed third. Tabasco clocked in at number six. These rankings will likely ruffle some feathers since a majority of the respondents (67%) who consume the stuff said they’re passionate about their favorite brand.

Room for two: That’s some pretty strong brand love, but a similar share (68%) of hot-sauce eaters surveyed said they keep two or more brands on hand, with 80% saying they change up their hot sauce preferences based on the type of food they’re eating.

What’s more, hot-sauce fans are willing to branch out from their favorites: 83% said they are very or at least somewhat open to trying hot-sauce brands new to the market, like Maya Kaimal and Truff, the fastest-growing hot-sauce brands on Instacart, according to Laurentia Romaniuk, the company’s trends expert.

Hot sauce + football: In 2021, hot-sauce purchases on Instacart peaked during—you guessed it—the Super Bowl. Sales in the category shot up by 45% on Instacart in the week leading up to the game compared to the rest of the year. Plus, consumers are buying more and more hot sauce during that week every year: Last year, sales were up 11.7% per customer on Instacart compared to 2020, and up 21.6% from 2019.—AM

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