From Pizza to Dip, Fries and Popcorn: Pickles are the massive taste of summer season

In May, Meg and Maddie Antonelli, a mother and daughter duo who review new food products on TikTok, filmed themselves in their car in the parking lot of a Florida grocery store. Meg keep a container dill pickle seasoning powder from Sam’s Club; Maddie, a bag of Goldfish Original crackers.

“Goldfish, if you see this, I think we need to create this flavor,” Maddie said as her mother threw a spice bomb in her pocket for a video that would later be posted on their TikTok channel, floridamomof3. After tasting the results, Maddie declared, “This is not real.”

While Pepperidge Farm, the producer of the goldfish, has yet to make the Antonelli flavor, the pickle condiment is increasingly appearing in all sorts of foods, from chips and popcorn to dips and salads and even lice Pizza. Although some pickled foods have been around for decades, the versatility of the flavor and its virality on social media has helped the products flourish.

The pickle flavor hits all the right notes for everyone – especially those under 40 – who are looking for bigger, bold flavors, say food and beverage researchers. brighter, lighter, and sweeter. Sally Lyons Wyatt, executive director at IRIa market research company.

Bret Thorn, senior food and beverage editor at News about National Restaurant. “And I don’t think people say, ‘I’ve tried a lot of strong flavors, now I’m going back to bland flavors.’

For decades, Works of the homeland, in Goodrich, Mich., sells a home-made pickle mix. “There are certainly a lot of pickle enthusiasts out there,” said Stephanie Jones, its vice president. Last year, she said, the company had to increase production by 30% to meet demand.

Major fast food brands have also introduced pickle-flavored products. Blue Diamond Almond release a pickles are spicy version in March 2020, with the sour and spicy flavors they say consumers are looking for in snacks. Frito-Lay makes melon-flavored fries To lay, Doritos and recently, Ruffles, line. Trader Joe’s, bring a dill falafelIf it’s pickles, it’s his spice mix sold out shortly after hitting shelves in May.

DiscoverFresh Foods introduced the pickle-flavored pickle four years ago, but it didn’t sell as well as the company expected, Haskell said. The product had been off the shelf for six months as the company remade the recipe to recreate the taste of fried pickles, a popular appetizer at restaurants and food trucks. Farm flavors and panko breadcrumbs were added, and the dip was reintroduced in July 2020. Mr. Haskell said the tubs were selling well at stores like Walmart and Sam’s Club. and Costco.

“It has a life of its own,” Mr. Haskell said. “We have people who love pickles and can’t keep this in their fridge.”

Tony Discusi’s Angela’s Concession, who sells food at fairs, said that over the years he has received dozens of requests from customers for a pickle pizza. He and his wife, Corina Discusi, experimented, eventually landing on the recipe with white sauce, mozzarella cheese, dill fries, and ranch dressing. He introduced it in 2020 at food fair events he attended on the East Coast.

Customers love it and order more cupcakes to take away. “I didn’t invent this,” he said. “But I’ve mastered it.” Last year, he made the pickle pizza a permanent item on the menu.

Social media has helped fuel the pickle flavor boom. Companies like Grillo’s Picklesmake traditional pickles and fresh salsa (Pickle de Gallo), used social media to start collaborating with larger food brands. In April, Utz staged a limited release Grillo’s fries and in June, Ithaca Hummus followed by the Grillo’s flavor dip. (Grillo’s says about 600,000 bags of Utz chips have been sold, and the company plans to remanufacturing the chips in October for Costco.)

“There are so many ways you can have fun with your food,” says Eddie Andre, brand director of Grillo’s Pickles.

What does the exciting future of pickle seasoning look like? Mr. Thorn, food editor, thinks the taste of kimchi and Japanese pickled vegetables will be the next big thing in the snack world.

Meg and Maddie Antonelli, Florida TikTokers, will continue to try all the pickle options. They make home-made pickle pizzas twice a month, dip pickles in burgers, and combine pasta with dill pickle seasoning.

“I wish this was always trendy,” says Meg Antonelli, “because I love pickles.”

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