Bland, boring packaged foods have gotten a lot spicier recently, and the underlying reason may be more strategic than to catch shoppers’ eyes in the aisle with pictures of adorable peppers. Kraft, General Mills, and other brands with unholy sums invested in serious R&D; have discovered that hotter foods apparently “create a lot of loyalty,” to quote GM, which just introduced its speecy-spicy Helper Bold.
Naturally, that means we’re now off on a Scoville-scale arms race. Crazy-hot ghost peppers, or bhut jolokias, are making their debut everywhere from Jack in the Box to Taco Bell’s new upscale Chipotle-killer alter ego, and now even Kraft wants to put them in cheeses, among other products. At least lagging milk sales stand to benefit from this “Super Spice Me” trend at hand.