While summer barbecues and pool parties might not look the same in 2020 as they have in years past, consumers will still indulge in delicious dips and spreads to make family time or personal relaxation a bit more enjoyable.

Dips and spreads not only help enhance the flavors of chips, sandwiches and other snacks and meals but can also stand out on their own as dishes. From salsa to hummus to more exotic condiments like Jaew Bong, consumers — especially younger consumers like Millennials and Gen Z — crave dips and spreads that provide premium experiences, incorporate global flavors and provide health benefits.

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These cravings hit at the intersection of multiple food trends, such as the rise of plant-based foods and Levantine cuisine. For Summer 2020, consumers may look to dips as a way to explore the world in a year where travel might not be as prevalent, and to beat the summer heat with wholesome dips like tzatziki that provide a cooling sensation.

Cool Down With International Flavors Through Dips and Spreads

While dips like salsa and ranch remain popular with consumers, this summer can be a great time to encourage consumers to try other dips and spreads by expanding their horizons without having to travel. As mentioned, tzatziki, which traces its roots back to the Ottoman Empire, can be a great summer dip, and brands are starting to come up with more packaged offerings to make enjoying this yogurt-based indulgence more readily available. Brands can reinvent the classic Greek dip by tapping into dairy-free and plant-based alternatives. From staying cool by dipping cucumbers in this sauce or using it as refreshing salad dressing, tzatziki can be versatile.

Another yogurt-based dip, raita, comes from India and can also provide a refreshing flavor enhancement summer dishes, such as grilled kebabs or chicken breast. Raita can be made with herbs and spices like mint and coriander, which help provide a cooling sensation.

Beat the Heat With Spicy Dips and Spreads

Although yogurt-based dips can feel refreshing to the tastebuds, consumers can also ‘cool down’ with a dip or spread hot enough to make you sweat, which is a natural cooling mechanism.

So this summer, consumers may explore exciting dips and spreads that aren’t too common yet in North America but which pack a fun, tasty punch. Muhammara, for instance, is a spicy red pepper and walnut dip, originating from Syria and naturally vegan. This dip can pair well with pita or crackers, but it also has versatile applications, such as when used as a pasta sauce.

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Another spicy condiment to try this summer is Jaew Bong, which originates from Laos and is made from ingredients including chilies and galangal (part of the ginger family.) Jaew Bong can be used for a unique topping for meat or vegetable based summer grilling or as a way to get creative with snackable carbs.

Indulge in Up-and-Coming Flavors

Dips and spreads often incorporate versatile flavors like chipotle or lime, but looking to summer these are some of the fastest-growing flavors found on restaurant menus from early 2019 to early 2020, according to Technomic.

For dips, the fastest-growing flavors include:
● Cranberry
● Pistachio
● Orange
● Pumpkin
● Nutmeg

For spreads, the fastest-growing flavors include:
● Almond
● Bacon
● Avocado
● Horseradish
● Basil

Some of these flavors like cranberry, pumpkin and nutmeg tend to be associated more with fall, but they can still be great additions to summer eating. For example, leftover graham crackers from s’mores can be paired with a pumpkin cream cheese dip, which can be a decadent yet not over-the-top dessert. Other fast-growing flavors like avocado and basil can also be a great summer addition to anything from salsa to mayonnaise to tahini.

See What You Can Create
Diving into these dips and spreads can be a relatively simple way for consumers perk up their food this summer. Tap into this trend by exploring international creations and experiment with flavor combinations to see what you enjoy. Whether you want to try pairing different packaged dips together as part of an appetizer course or charcuterie board, or you want to make your own creations in the kitchen, like using horseradish to pack a spicy punch in your marinade, the possibilities are endless.

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