Navigating A Saturated Craft Hot Sauce Market

Navigating A Saturated Craft Hot Sauce Market

Posted by Stephen Sferazo (Owner Spice Pepper Co) on Jan 19th 2021

Having a saturated craft hot sauce market is very good for the consumer. There is so much to choose from. For example: Do I want extreme heat? Do I want extreme flavor? Or do I want the best of both worlds. From fermented sauces to standard cooked sauces and from pepper forward sauces to ingredient focused sauces there is more than you could ask for to choose from. Below I will give some tips on how to choose the perfect hot sauce for you.

Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Are there any particular flavor profiles I am targeting?

2. How hot do I want my sauce?

3. What do I like using hot sauce on?

4. Do I like sweet heat, savory heat or pepper flavor with varying degrees of heat?

Of course there are always opinions out there and it can be difficult to trust them because we all have different pallets and different tolerances of heat. 

If you like super hot sauces then you have an easier time finding sauces to fit your criteria by utilizing a simple google search. If you have a lower heat tolerance than it becomes important to ask the maker questions. 

Here is the key. Pay attention to their (Sauce Maker's) particular heat scale (as this can vary from sauce maker to sauce maker). 

Look at the ingredients. If super hot peppers are mentioned first then this is a good indication of how hot it will be. Ingredients are listed in order of amount that each sauce contains. For example: if a sauce has carolina reaper pepper mash or peppers listed first then this is going to be a super hot sauce. If other ingredients are mentioned first and the peppers are mentioned toward the middle or end of the ingredient list then it can vary from a mild/medium sauce to a hot/super hot sauce depending on which peppers or mash is used and depending on the tolerance you have. 

Each sauce maker usually has listed on their websites how hot or mild each sauce can be. If your concerned about ordering a sauce that may be too hot for you then start with one of their milder sauces. You can always go up in heat. 

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