R&D and marketing groups are eager to understand where the next opportunity for spicy-hot infusion may be and what the consumer tolerance is for chili-related irritation.
The current work describes the habits, appetites, and tolerances for spicy-hot products in an ethnically diverse, metropolitan North American sample. Building out from a core set of spicy-hot products evaluated internally and on consumer panels, a diverse product list was presented as part of the survey for rating of recalled hedonic and spicy-hot intensity. Also discussed is the use of recalled spicy-hot experience to segment individuals and to gauge the preferred chili-irritation intensity/intensities across the sample. The results presented here are only a small part of more comprehensive research undertaken by ACCE to bring further understanding of spicy food consumers’ preferences, and to help food developers, by creating a universal heat scale with standards for evaluating heat intensity.