Hot Honey Syrup was named Monin’s 2023 Flavor of the Year

From spicy margaritas and hot honey ciders to five-spice salmon, food and beverage menus across the U.S. are heating up. With its latest flavors, Hot Honey Syrup and Spicy Agave Sweetener, Monin plays with the concept of sweet and spicy in distinctly different ways.

Hot Honey Syrup was named Monin’s 2023 Flavor of the Year after a rigorous process of collecting and analyzing emerging trends, consumer insights, and industry data to determine the flavors that will trend throughout the coming year and beyond. Research from Datassential shows hot honey’s on-menu growth is projected to outpace nearly all other culinary and beverage flavors over the next four years. Hot Honey Syrup pairs organic wildflower honey and zesty jalapeño for a well-balanced flavor that turns up the heat on beverage and culinary creations.

“Hot Honey is full of familiarity and warmth, and it allows people to take part in the spice trend without being overwhelmed by heat,” says Stasha Johnston, senior vice president of marketing at Monin. “People are craving spice and simple joys that deliver an element of surprise to create a delightful experience.”

Hot Honey Syrup adds dimension to teas, lemonades, sauces, marinades, and a variety of culinary creations. And, unlike traditional honey, it’s the perfect consistency to blend into iced or frozen beverages. Monin’s proprietary research found 70 percent of consumers who like spicy food indicated they’d like to try hot honey-flavored foods and beverages, signifying an opportunity for increased sales of products featuring a hot honey flavor profile.

Similarly, Monin found nearly two out of three consumers would be likely to try the new Spicy Agave Sweetener in a cocktail or mocktail at their favorite bar or restaurant. With Spicy Agave, Monin is the first in the industry to bring a sweet heat flavored sweetener like this to market. Infusing organic agave with a unique blend of hatch and guajillo chile peppers creates a craveable kick of heat that elevates margaritas, ranch waters, frozen drinks, iced teas, and more. Given significant consumer interest in tequila-based beverages, this spicy sweetener allows operators to create on-trend cocktails and low or no ABV beverages easily and consistently.

“We anticipate our twist on the classic agave sweetener will be adopted by operators looking for a way to add elevated sweet and spicy beverages to their menus,” says Brian Loukmas, vice president of innovation at Monin. “Spicy Agave creates a memorable experience for guests and builds on the ever-growing popularity of the ‘swicy’ (sweet and spicy) movement. This new sweetener is also clean label, delivering on Monin’s promise to offer premium and authentic flavors made with the highest-quality natural ingredients.”

As consumers trend toward wellness, spice, and elevated experiences, these versatile new products from Monin will help operators to differentiate their menu offerings, adding the perfect combination of sweet and heat to entice customers’ taste buds and appeal for those looking for better-for-you food and beverage options.

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