Hot sauce innovation continues to fire up the UK with London-based brand Saucybitch launching this year, with a USP of sourcing chillies from the local community and producing fermented vegan varieties inspired by artisanal American versions.
It has created three main staple sauces. The first, called Hot Stuff, is a classic take on hot sauce and is made with a mixture of fermented red jalapenos, habaneros, bird's eyes, garlic and spices. It gives a medium spicy heat and is great to add to home cooking or can be used as a dip for pizza, chips and eggs, it said.
Next is its Golden Nugget sauce, a fresh take on the honey and mustard variety, but which uses maple syrup instead to ensure it stays vegan. It also incorporates Dijon mustard to give it a luxury gourmet taste and adds roasted jalapeno for a mild kick of heat to accompany things like chicken, eggs, salads and sandwiches.
There’s also its Smokin’ Hot sauce, a modern take on chipotle. Its ingredients include chipotle, molasses and liquid smoke imported from Tennessee barbecues to give it an authentic smoky taste. It’s perfect for dips and adding to mayonnaise, along with using on meat, according to the brand.
Saucybitch is also experimenting with limited edition sauces. Its debut is a Pomegranate Hot Sauce, made with a variety of fermented chillies including habanero, scotch bonnet, ancho and serrano. Pomegranate molasses is also included, along with garlic to create a Middle Eastern influenced sauce. It has proved popular with customers at its Spitalfields Market stall and online store, adds the brand.
But the NPD doesn’t stop there either. Saucybitch is developing more special edition sauces, with the next one, a black coffee infused hot sauce pencilled for release in late spring.
Hot sauces are really growing in popularity in the UK, emulating the success of American hot sauce brands, said Dean Smith, founder of Saucybitch.
In the UK, chilli and tabasco sauces outstripped every other sauce and condiment in value with an increase of 29.5% and volume growth of 24.8%, he explained, while tabasco is also up 4%, while the brand has been heavily promoting its 150th anniversary.
The Saucybitch brand tries to keep the production process as local, sustainable and carbon neutral as possible by using community sourced chillies to help produce their sauces. It established The Walthamstow Chilli Collective where growers in the area donate to Saucybitch to use the chillies in their production process. This initiative has proved popular with the environmentally-minded customer, added Smith.
The hot sauces are currently stocked in Eat17 Spar in Walthamstow, Eat17 Spar in Hackney, Kitchen Provisions in Stoke Newington, as well as the newly opened Kitchen Provisions in Coal’s Yard King’s Cross and GourmetDeli in Leigh on Sea.
“The response to our sauces has been overwhelming. People love them and we sell out the minute we make a new batch,” commented Smith. “Our Instagram has a large following and has even led to a diner in Philadelphia buying the whole range.”
Even the branding has been carefully thought out by Smith, who was inspired by his pet French bulldog. The labelling has been designed with a cool aesthetic in mind, paying a tongue in cheek homage to Andy Warhol’s Campbell soup cans and designed to be displayed in pride of place within the customer’s fridge, he said.