Could Hot Sauce Save the Economy?

So this isn’t exactly a science post, but I’ve written before about food psychology and culture. And this is at least tangentially related. Plus I just thought it was interesting. So, without further ado:

Last month, IBISWorld, an industry research group, released a report on the U.S.’s top 10 fastest growing industries. In the midst of the recession, the report said, these 10 “standout” industries “aren’t just recovering – they’re flourishing.”

Some of the industries that made the list will come as no surprise; generic pharmaceutical manufacturing, for-profit universities, green and sustainable building construction, and solar panel manufacturing are all thriving.

But others are more interesting. I think the most intriguing industry on the list is “Hot Sauce Production.” Over the last 10 years, the report says, the industry’s revenue has grown by an average of 9.3% a year. As the report explains:

Demand for hot sauce has been driven by demographic consumption trends, immigration and international demand from Canada, the United Kingdom and Japan. As Americans’ palates have become more diverse, hot sauce has earned tenure on the dinner table. Demand from supermarkets and grocery stores has reflected the change in consumer taste, and food retailers are dedicating more shelf space to ethnic cuisine. Ethnic supermarkets – also growing rapidly – more prominently offer a variety of hot sauces than more traditional stores.

Rounding out the top 10: pilates and yoga studios, self-tanning product manufacturing, social network game development, 3D printer manufacturing, and online eyeglasses and contact lens sales.

You can download the full report here.

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