Flavor Insight: Gochujang by the Numbers

April 12, 2018
Flavor Ingredients Savory

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Gochujang is a Korean red chili paste that is a combination of savory, sweet and spicy that is similar to miso paste. This fermented condiment is made from gochutgaru (red chili powder), sticky rice, fermented soybeans and salt. Often described as having an immediate taste of heat with the first bite, then a cool, sweetness at the end. We’re seeing gochujang appear in a host of products and recipes from gochujang-braised chicken to a gochujang Chex mix snack. Let’s take a look at the various forms of gochujang on the menu, in social media and in new products.

Gochujang Print & Social Media Highlights

There are several mentions of gochujang in social and print media. Here are some of the highlights.

  • While scrolling through Pinterest, gochujang pins appear in a wide variety of food and beverage recipes but especially savory dishes. These pins include gochujang-glazed salmon, gochujang chicken wings, spicy cheesy gochujang spaghetti, Korean gochujang Chex mix, Korean kimchi burger with gochujang sauce.

  • On Twitter are tweets mentioning gochujang, including this one by @munchies with a recipe for “gochujang glazed ham > honey-baked ham.” Also mentioned by @hellolisalin “New recipe, friends! Chilaquiles with gochujang,” with attached recipe.

  • The January 2018 issue of Food & Wine features a recipe for Spicy Kimchi Tofu Stew. Taking just 30 minutes to prepare, this recipe calls for pork, kimchi, onions, shiitake mushrooms, gochujang, gochugaru, tofu, and lastly short-grain rice for serving.

  • On Food Network 2,924 recipes appear when you search for gochujang. Recipes include Korean pork chop gochujang marinade, Korean pulled pork sandwich, Korean beef tacos, ultimate Korean fried chicken, Asian oatmeal breakfast bowl and Korean calamari.

Gochujang on the Menu

We're spotting 72 gochujang mentions on the menu nationwide with casual dining as the top restaurant segment. Salads, appetizer and entrées are the top three menu sections for gochujang-flavored items.
Beverages account for 39% of all gochujang flavored menu items.

  • Duck Wing “Lollipops” made with Korean gochujang red chili glaze and sesame seeds at Seasons 52.

  • Spicy Gochujang Bolognese Noodles with bacon, kimchi and soft-boiled egg on the lunch menu at Danji.

  • Gochujang Barbeque Shrimp served with radish and pickled red onion salad and citrus yogurt coulis from the Chart House.

  • Kimchi Burger made with fried egg, American cheese, bacon and spicy gochujang mayo on a toasted egg bun at Gott’s Roadside.

Gochujang, The Game Changer

In December 2017, National Restaurant Association released a list of top food trends to try in 2018. They asked nearly 700 members of the American Culinary Federation to rank a list of food items and concepts as either a “hot trend,” “yesterday’s news” or “perennial favorites.” According to their survey, ethnic condiments, like gochujang, are a hot trend, coming in at #19 on the top 20 trending list. Also on this list is sriracha, chimichurri and sambal.

Gochujang Global New Product Introductions 2013-2017

We're spotting 55 Gochujang-flavored new product introductions, with the top product categories of Sauces & Seasonings, Snacks and Processed Fish, Meat & Egg products.

  • Asia Pacific is the top global region for gochujang new product introductions with 62% of all new products.

  • Table Sauces are the top product sub-category globally for gochujang flavored new products.

  • Chili Pepper is the top flavor paired with gochujang.

Products of Note

  • Peacock Roasted & Grilled Gochujang Flavored Chicken: this microwavable entrée is made with tender Korean chicken thighs. South

  • Woomtree Roasted Seafood Gochujang: this on-the-go product can be consumed with instant rice and ramen or as a filling or side dish

  • Choice L Boiled Dried Squid in Gochujang Sauce: is made with chewy dried squid and features a spicy and sweet flavor. South Korea

  • CJ Bibigo Gochujang Hot Pepper Sauce with Vinegar: described as sweet, spicy and savory sauce which can be used for fish, seafood or steam vegetables. Spain

Gochujang North America New Product Introductions

In North America, we're spotting 14 Gochujang-flavored new product introductions, with the top product categories of Sauces & Seasonings, Snacks and Processed Fish, Meat & Egg products.
North America accounts for 26% of all gochujang flavored new product introductions.
Table Sauces is the top product sub-category for gochujang flavored new products.
Sea Salt is the top flavor paired with gochujang.

Products of Note

  • Private Selection Gochujang Infused Sea Salt: this product is said to feature a pungent, spicy, savory fermented blend of chili and soy that is said to spice up meats.

  • Sempio Gochujang Hot and Sweet Chili Sauce: this sauce is sweet and spicy, MSG free chili sauce and is said to give Korean culinary experience. USA

  • CJ Annie Chun’s Gochujang Flavored Roasted Seaweed Crisps: are oven-baked and seasoned with gochujang to create a snack that is crunchy, sweet and spicy. Canada

  • President’s Choice Sweet & Spicy Gochujang Chicken Wings: are described as crisp and crunchy chicken wings with a sticky sweet & spicy gochujang paste. Canada

The Takeaways

Considered a game changer in the culinary world, the gochujang just might be the next sriracha. It's adding a sweet and spicy flavor to a variety of new products and recipes. Product developers have experimented and found successful uses for gochujang in everything from seaweed crisps to chicken wings. How can you gochujang?

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