In tumultuous times, consumers often find themselves returning to foods that connote security and comfort. It should be no surprise that hotdog sales jumped when people began isolating in spring. We’ll never be sure if it was because the kids were home for lunch each day, or the adults gravitated towards the nostalgia of the simpler times, but it was unmistakable that hotdogs began flying off the shelves.
Dressing up a hotdog begins with mustard. The ubiquitous yellow condiment is available in its pure form, as well as in sophisticated flavors. Consumers are willing to experiment with flavors representing different tastes and styles. A staple like honey mustard has a new pairing with balsamic vinegar. Those with a sophisticated palate are purchasing mustard infused with toasted onions, wild thyme, and white wine. Even more extravagant flavors of black truffle, blackcurrant liqueur, and coriander are turning up at restaurants and high-end grocery stores.
Flavored ketchup adds zip to the original brand, and can be seasoned and spiced to suit any consumer’s wish. While balsamic vinegar adds a bite to ketchup, there are ways to tour the world with simple seasonings. Adding basil pesto to ketchup conjures dreams of Italy, while mole ketchup may inspire Mexican hat dances with flavors of chili powder, cocoa, and lime. Hoisin sauce creates a tangy and salty taste of Asia with a flavor profile of soy, garlic, red chilies, and vinegar.
Dress to Impress
Ketchup and mustard aren’t the only condiments consumers enjoy with their wieners. New toppings are trending as more people eat at home and have time to create new concoctions. Popular additions inside the bun are avocado and bacon-flavored crumbles, or chili and homemade coleslaw. The more traditional consumer will pile their hotdog with baked beans and potato chips. Those consumers who aren’t worried about their weight are ordering hotdogs topped with French fries and gravy. Those who want to spice things up are adding pimento cheese and pickled jalapenos. Last but not least, health-conscious consumers indulge their guilty pleasure with copious amounts of onions, tomatoes, red peppers, and avocados.
No matter the consumer’s taste, hotdogs are an established American staple, especially popular in the summer.