Adding Heat to Sweets

Little Bird Kitchen was on the forefront of the sweet/heat trend.
 
In 2016, a trend emerged in the food world that was getting people heated, but for the right reasons. Sweet/heat pairings became more than just an experimental phase for food innovators. Spicy peppers combined with sweet items like chocolate were soon tantalizing the taste buds of more adventurous consumers.

Around that same time, a husband and wife team that had been cooking up a candied jalapeño storm in their kitchen for several years had finally reached the point where their business had grown enough to move into its own facility. Little Bird Kitchen had hit the sweet (and spicy) spot with its flavor combinations and was ready to take them to a national level.

Sara and Corey Meyer’s business, currently headquartered in Plainview, New York, specializes in candied jalapeño chocolates, powder, and syrup. They’re all hot and sweet, with the heat coming at the end of each taste.

“We’ve noticed consumers are going out of their comfort zones and starting to explore new flavor profiles. One of the categories they turn to is spicy and Little Bird Kitchen is at the forefront of this trend. Whether it’s munching on our Fire Bites or utilizing the Fire Syrup as a marinade, we give users the option to control how much heat they get in their snack or meal,” says Sara and Corey Meyer. “Although we stumbled upon candied jalapeños, we stuck with it because it allows other flavor profiles to come through before the heat comes at the end.”

Fire Syrup can be added to a variety of products for a spicy kick.
 
Little Bird Kitchen was born out of necessity. Sara, busy with twins at home and working full-time, needed an outlet. She had a culinary affection, so she started a food blog and experimented with recipes. She found that candied foods were popular, so that led her down a path of developing candied jalapeños. Along with Corey, she began cooking up more of them in their kitchen, eventually moving to a food incubator in Long Island City. They were able to do this all while working their full-time jobs and taking care of their children.

That dedication has created a growing sweet and spicy company with loads of potential. Candied jalapeños continues to be the leading ingredient in its products. Among those are the tempting Fire Bites in dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white. Little Bird also offers a sweet and spicy trail mix, peanuts, and the aforementioned powder and syrup.

The syrup is an especially useful product, as it can be added to a variety of foods for a kick. Fruit, nuts, popcorn, chicken wings, and baked goods like biscuits and brownies are just a few of the products that benefit from a splash of the sweet and simple syrup.

Spice is a leading flavor profile that people turn to for experimentation with food. Look for this to continue in 2018. An online survey from Kalsec, Inc. found that 90 percent of United States consumers and 80 percent of European consumers say they enjoy hot and spicy foods. Retailers hoping to satisfy consumers with bold flavors and pairings will no doubt use heat in their sweets.