Sriracha Bandwagon Getting Full | NBC 7 San Diego

Sriracha Bandwagon Getting Full

Popular sauce found in more products



    The popular spice Sriracha is showing up everywhere, including Jack in the Box and Heinz ketchup. NBC 7's Consumer Bob reports more on the latest craze. (Published Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015)

    Sriracha is catching fire.

    The popular Thai hot sauce is finding it's way into everything from bacon to burgers.

     "You see so many new flavors," said Iwona Alter, menu strategy Vice President with Jack in the Box. "What we have seen is that people like more and more spicy."

    That's why the San Diego-based fast food chain is now selling a Sriracha burger, as well as adding the flavor to its burrito and fish filet sandwich.

    So why add a spicy flavor to traditional items like a burger? Alter said the younger generation is looking for different tastes and spiciness.

    "It's this whole big surge in global fusion," said Alter.

    San Diego State marketing professor Erlinde Cornelis said restaurants and food makers constantly monitor what flavors are out there. It's no surprise sriracha is now trending.

    "Food trends come from all corners of the globe," said Cornelis.

    She said fast food restaurants like Jack in the Box always need to find the next big flavor.

    "They want to jump on the hype," said Cornelis, "like a clothing trend you do it when it's hot."

    This month Heinz is introducing a Sriracha-flavored ketchup. It joins a line of flavored ketchups including jalapeño, balsamic vinegar and Tabasco Pepper Sauce.

    I asked people to taste test the Sriracha ketchup, and most liked it.

    Dave Lawhead said, "I thought the ketchup flavor sort of started at the beginning and then it kind of gives way to the sriracha as you go along."

    Hector Campos agreed, "It's got some little bit of a spice to it but it's really, really good."

    Louette Easton thought the spiciness was a little too much, "I think it kind of overwhelmed the ketchup flavor for me."

    Iwona Alter with Jack in the Box said millennial-aged consumers are driving the trend toward spicy foods. So what could be the next big spice?

    "Thai chili and cayenne and chimichurri," said Alter, "all of these words may not mean as much today, but they are brewing in terms of the future trends."