Last Updated on January 5, 2021 by Novotaste

Hot honey is set to spice up our dinner tables in 2021 as the American trend finally makes its way overseas and onto our pizza, chicken wings and uh…ice cream?

Ten professional chefs from the UK’s hottest restaurants, such as PizzaExpress, The Devonshire Arms and Bonnie Burrito provided their top flavours and dishes for next year and put the vote to the nation.

Each year tastecard, the UK’s largest dining membership, carry out several analyses to provide food trends and predictions for the next year.

Several professional chefs from both independent and chain restaurants are invited to provide insight into what they’ve seen a rise in, as well as new items they’ll be introducing to their menus in the upcoming year.

Once collated, it’s put to the foodies: over 2,000* people across the country voted on their favourite foods and most discovered flavours.

The new trend of hot honey has been on the rise in 2020 with restaurant chains such as PizzaExpress adding it to its Christmas menu, and food channels like The Food Network sharing their own hot honey recipes.

In fact, it’s such a growing trend that during 2020 only 8% of Brits had tried it, but by December 2020 over a third of the nation (35%) had it on their food-to-try list for 2021.

The sweet and spicy condiment has been prevalent in the United States of America, some say down to Mike Kurtz the owner of Mike’s Hot Honey, who discovered a pizzeria in Brazil serving jars of honey with chili peppers inside drizzled on pizza in 2003. Only in 2010 did it become a business venture and ten years later it’s hit the USA as an almost mainstream flavour.

Mike Kurtz, Founder of Mike’s Hot Honey, said: “I first started making Mike’s Hot Honey commercially in 2010 at a pizzeria in NYC where I used to work. Folks loved it drizzled over their pizzas and it became a hit out of the restaurant. Eventually I scaled up production and began selling it to retailers and other restaurants. Ten years later we’re sold in stores nationwide and work with some of best pizzerias in the US and abroad. People enjoy Mike’s Hot Honey drizzled on fried chicken, served with cheese and charcuterie and even mixed into cocktails. The possibilities are truly endless, but pizza will always be our thing.”

The rise in hot honey coincides with the rise in desire for chilli and hot sauces. 27% said they had seen spicy foods popularity rise during 2020 and almost a quarter (24%) said they’d want to try spicy foods for the first time in 2021.

Jane Treasure, PizzaExpress F&B Director said: “The sweet & heat trend has been around for a while and is definitely here to stay! At PizzaExpress, we first began to play with this combination in our development kitchen about 2-3 years ago. Then in 2019, along with lots of other new flavour combinations we researched hot honey and it was a clear winner with pizza consumers. We know that customers are drawn towards more bold flavours on pizza and this one certainly delivers on that. Speaking of delivery, this one also works brilliantly delivered, as well as in our restaurants. “

There’s no doubt that multiple national lockdowns and restaurant closures have had an impact on the way the nation eats, but it hasn’t been all bad. 39% of Brits said that during the past year they’ve become more adventurous with their cooking and only 17% sticking to traditional home comforts during the uncertain times. Whilst multiple cuisines are on the rise including Ethiopian and Vietnamese, Japan has been one of the biggest influences on people’s dishes (24%) closely followed by South East Asia (20%) and Mexico (18%).

Rob Colledge, Head of Restaurant Partnerships for tastecard, said: “2020 has been an unusual year for our restaurants; we went from dining out, to dining in overnight. It’s encouraging for the industry to see the nation still being adventurous with food and trying new things. We are looking forward to seeing how hot honey is experimented with next year and gets people ordering new dishes carefully crafted by the chefs.”

As well as supporting the hospitality industry, tastecard always has its customers front of mind and launched its delivery service in October this year. Now, customers can have great food, including hot honey, at discounted prices at any time. The always-on discount will be a minimum of 10% and can be increased as high as the participating restaurants desire.

A tastecard membership is available via tastecard.co.uk with the first 30 days free. All customers, both members and non-members can use the delivery service by downloading the tastecard app.

THE TOP TEN FOOD TRENDS FOR 2021

Food Brits want to try for the first time in 2021:

  1. Hot (spicy) honey (35.06%)
  2. Wagyu beef (31.47%)
  3. Chilli hot sauce (24.19%)
  4. Nut butters (18.85%)
  5. Plant-based meat alternatives (16.16%)
  6. Kimchi (12.92%)
  7. Pea Protein (12.57%)
  8. Alternative milks (9.08%)
  9. Seitan (6.48%)
  10. Insects (5.99%



Food and ingredients tried for the first time 2020:

  1. Alternative milks (36.64%)
  2. Plant based meat alternatives (30.47%)
  3. Chickpeas (25.34%)
  4. Nut based butters (20.25%)
  5. Wagyu beef (14.01%)
  6. Kimchi (or other fermented vegetables) (12.02%)
  7. Pea protein (10.52%)
  8. Hot (Spicy) Honey (8.03%)
  9. Seitan (4.39%)
  10. Insects (1.20%)



Countries that had the biggest influence on food in 2020:

  1. Japan (23.29%)
  2. South East Asia (20.25%)
  3. Mexico (18.30%)
  4. Caribbean (12.12%)
  5. South Korea (9.13%)
  6. Turkey (7.58%)
  7. South America (7.43%)
  8. Ethiopia (0.85%)
  9. Hawaii (0.60%)
  10. Syria (0.45%)



Food most noticed across social media:

  1. Sourdough (38.65%)
  2. Spicy/chilli-based foods (27.38%)
  3. Healthy Kebabs (20.8%)
  4. Bao Buns (18.25%)
  5. Taco’s (17.86%)
  6. Korean Fried Chicken (13.52%)
  7. CBD based foods (12.52%)
  8. Dry aged meat/fish (5.34%)
  9. Sushi Burrito’s (4.04%)
  10. Hummus ice cream (1.20%)

Source: Hot honey is set to be the flavour trend of 2021 – MyLondon