Honey has always been a popular and versatile food source, loved for its natural sweetness and unique flavor. But in recent years, there has been an increasing buzz around honey, with discussions focusing on its taste, sustainability, and health benefits.
- 79% of US consumers love or like honey. (Source: Datassential Flavor)
- 88% of Canadian consumers have tried honey and like it. (Source: NA Flavor Dashboard)
- 72% of Mexican consumers say honey positively impacts their health. (Source: GlobalData 2022 Q1 Consumer Survey – Mexico)
Some companies have jumped on the honey bandwagon in previous years and created innovative, tasty sauces, like Hot Honey, which has grown 103% since 2018 (Source: Datassential Menutrends). It’s not too late for consumers to push the boundaries of flavors with honey. With the rise in barbeque, chicken, and health trends, consumers are looking for creative palette-pleasing ideas to take their foods to the next level while reducing the use of refined sugars.
Benefits of the Golden Elixir
According to the GlobalData 2022 Q2 Consumer Survey, 66% of Canadian consumers believe honey positively affects their health. Besides its delicious taste, honey offers several health benefits. It has antimicrobial properties that can assist in fighting off certain bacterial infections. Honey is also known for its ability to soothe sore throats and coughs, making it a popular choice for natural remedies. Moreover, the presence of antioxidants in honey helps to reduce inflammation and promote overall well-being. These antioxidants are natural compounds that safeguard the body against oxidative stress linked to chronic diseases.
Sweet and Spicy: Honey’s Appeal in Culinary Art
Many people are trying out new combinations of honey with other spices such as garlic, habanero, and Old Bay. Restaurants are also coming up with creative ways to incorporate honey into their dishes, such as adding bold seasonings to brunch items and using it to balance out the smoky flavors of BBQ while cutting down on refined sugar use.
According to a survey, 91% of Mexican consumers have tried and like honey (Source: Griffith Foods NA Flavor Dashboard). Consumers worldwide enjoy combining honey with various ingredients with diverse flavors and tastes.
- 81% of Canadians like Honey Garlic. (Source: Griffith Foods NA Flavor Dashboard)
- 80% of US consumers say Honey Caramel is appealing to them. (Source: Griffith Foods NA Flavor Dashboard)
- 75% of Canadians like the flavor of Honey BBQ. (Source: Griffith Foods NA Flavor Dashboard)
- 71% of US consumers think Honey Lime is appealing. (Source: Griffith Foods NA Flavor Dashboard)
- 58% of Mexican consumers like Honey Butter. (Source: Griffith Foods NA Flavor Dashboard)
The versatility of honey has consumers starting to use it and fruits in their cooking, replacing refined sugars, making for a more health-conscious option.
Honey Continues to Dominate with Sweet/Spicy Wing Lovers
Hot Honey, Honey BBQ, and Honey Mustard are three flavor mash ups that continue to show growth in the wing category. Sweet and savory combinations have always been popular in the culinary world, and honey’s dominance in wing flavors can be attributed to its ability to strike a perfect balance between these two taste profiles. Its natural sweetness complements the heat of spicy sauces in Hot Honey wings, adds depth and richness to the smokiness of BBQ sauce in Honey BBQ wings, and provides a delightful contrast to the tangy kick of mustard in Honey Mustard wings. This versatility and harmonious flavor pairing have made honey a beloved choice among wing enthusiasts, continually propelling its popularity in the ever-evolving world of wing flavors.
Honey Takes Seafood to The Next Level
Conversation around honey online has been steadily growing for the past 3 years. As honey permeates more mealtimes, consumers continue to experiment – especially in seafood, where we are honey paired with popular seafood spices and marinades like Old Bay, garlic, and even habanero. The heat/sweet pairings take seafood dishes to the next level.
“I placed the fried fish into a corn tortilla with a layer of homemade spicy tarter sauce, cabbage slaw (green & red cabbage cilantro and carrots), along with several drops of @thestankysauce honey mango habanero sauce. So killer!”
“Old Bay & Honey is a combination that we all need to taste at least once in our lives!… [the sauce is made] by whisking butter, honey, hot sauce and old bay seasoning over medium low until it simmers.”
Honey Buzzing Its Way Into the Market
The popularity of honey has been on the rise among both consumers and the culinary industry. Companies are now exploring innovative ways to incorporate honey into everyday staples like sauces and breakfast cereals.
Honey uniquely balances savory and spicy flavors with a light sweetness, making it an excellent ingredient for sauces, especially meats. Some culinary concepts for the market include:
Honey mixed in savory snacks, salads, and sandwiches, like honey drizzled over sweet potato fries.
With such a versatile ingredient, new culinary concepts involve using honey in sweets and bakery items, yogurt and dairy products, and hot teas.
Culinary concepts use honey’s sweetness to offset spicy or smokey flavors in sauces like Wolfe Peace River Pineapple Jalapeno Honey and Bourbon Hot Honey, which is great with chicken wings, pizza, vegetables, and more.
Riding the Honey Wave Has Never Been this Sweet
In recent years, honey has undergone a culinary renaissance, transcending its initial role in bar foods and other sweet treats. Its complex flavor profile and natural sweetness have inspired innovative chefs to experiment with honey in unexpected ways. From drizzling it over fresh fish tacos to create a harmonious contrast of flavors, to glazing roasted vegetables to enhance their natural sweetness, honey has become a versatile ingredient in gourmet cuisine. Its ability to marry well with both traditional and exotic ingredients has made it a staple in the kitchens of food enthusiasts and top-notch chefs alike. As honey continues to evolve and expand its horizons in the culinary world, its enduring appeal is a testament to the timeless allure of this golden nectar.
Let’s Create Better Together
We’re here to help inspire creations that keep your product portfolio on trend. Contact your Griffith Foods representative or reach out to our sales team to learn more about our ongoing research and innovative offerings.