Tis the season to be jolly and it seems nothing makes the British public more jolly than spicing up their meals with an ever increasing variety of specialty hot sauces. The market for all things spicy continues to boom with sales of chilli sauce, hot salsa, spicy condiments and fiery snacks increasing year on year by an average of 10% per annual, compared to a growth of just 1% for regular ketchup's and sauces.
That popularity is now spreading to the festive season as a large percentage of all those sales happen in the 6-8 weeks leading up to Christmas as more and more people discover that hot sauces make great and unusual gifts. It seems the chance to inflict pain and suffering on your loved ones, while disguising it as a treat, is just too good an opportunity to miss. There are an increasing number of specialty hot sauce products being created specifically for this market to be given as gifts.
It seems that when it comes to gifts, the simple rule of thumb is, the hotter the better. We see a large increase in sales of such insanely hot concoctions as Mad Dog 357 Collectors Edition, Blair's Megadeath Hot Sauce and Dave's Private Reserve Insanity Sauce, which comes packed in its own wooden coffin. These sauces are at the very pinnacle of the chilli experience, made with pure capsaicin extract, the chemical that makes chillies hot. Chillies are rated for heat using the scoville scale. A regular Jalapeno rates at around 5,000 scovilles, Mad Dog collectors edition hot sauce is made using capsaicin extract rated at 6,000,000 scovilles, so its clear to see just how hot these sauces are.
However, as well as the super hot "untouchables", hot sauce gift sets are getting more and more popular. Such as Dave's Spicy 6 Pack, a collection of 6 of Dave's best sauces, including the legendary Insanity Sauce, packed in a funky wooden display case or mini selection packs that offer a mix of different sauces in pocket sized sampler bottles which are a great way to introduce someone to the world of chilli sauces.
It does not have to be just sauces and salsa though, maybe you have an avid gardener on your gift list, so how about buying them a selection of chilli seeds. Growing your own chillies is a hugely rewarding experience, they are attractive plants and produce wonderful crops of eye catching, delicious chillies. They can be grown in reenhouses, conservatories or just on a window sill.
So if you are stuck for idea of what to buy friends and family this year why not check out one of the online specialist hot sauce and chilli suppliers, and pick yourself up something a little different. And maybe instead of a plate of mince pies, you could leave a plate of nacho's and a bowl of Dave's Insanity Salsa out for Santa instead, keep him warm on his long nights work.