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Frank's RedHot® 'Dip Dive' Report Uncovers College Basketball Fans' Fiery Food Obsessions
March 21, 2024

Spicy Madness: Sizzling Survey Results Reveal 97% of Respondents Find Themselves Snacking During March Games with Easterners Most Likely to Add Heat to Unusual Foods

HUNT VALLEY, Md., March 21, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- 93% of college basketball fans prefer to add some level of heat to their food. That's according to a new survey commissioned by Frank's RedHot®, the #1 hot sauce in the world*, which took a close look at how fans across the U.S. stack up against one another during the month of March in the West, South, Midwest, and East regions.

With the recent launch of Frank's Dip'n and Squeeze Sauces, available now here, the survey aimed to uncover heat and condiment preferences both on and off the court during college basketball's biggest tournament, revealing everything from unusual snacking habits to which fans boast the deepest knowledge of the game.

In the realm of snacking rituals and watch parties, nearly every college basketball fan (97%) acknowledges indulging in snacks while watching games, 58% of those fans admitting to consuming more food during the tournament compared to the rest of the season. Notably, Southerners are most likely to drown their sorrows in snacks when their team loses (24%), and they are also most likely to serve team or region-specific snacks for good luck (18%).

Across all regions, respondents are largely unified in one concern; the fear that their team can't withstand the heat of the tournament, with a mere 13% expressing confidence in their team's ability to win it all. When it comes to competitive spirit, Eastern fans stand shoulder to shoulder with their Western counterparts, with more than three-quarters (77%) claiming to possess a competitive edge over others. Meanwhile, college basketball fans in the South claim to be the most knowledgeable about the sport. Regardless of geography, 79% of fans proudly rally behind a favorite team and more than two-thirds (68%) plan to celebrate a win more than they will suffer a team loss.

The data also underscores varied heat preferences among college basketball fans across regions, revealing unequal standings on the spicy barometer off the court. Here's the breakdown:

  • Fans in the West (27%) and South (27%) are most likely to prefer a "hot" level of heat on their food, with more than one-third (35%) of Westerners opting for a spicy kick in their ramen, more than any other region.
  • Eastern fans (44%) prefer a "medium" level of heat. Interestingly, they are the most likely to add their favorite condiments to foods like pizza (40%), deli meats or cold cuts (18%), pasta (16%), or even cookies (10%) and ice cream (9%).
  • Midwesterners (32%) tend to opt for a "mild" spice level and are most likely to add a bit of kick to their burgers, whether they're beef, turkey or veggie (39%).

"While this survey revealed that college basketball fans across the country are ready for basketball's biggest tournament, it also shined a light on each region's diverse culinary traditions. Every fan brings a unique experience to the table," said Valda Coryat, North America Vice President of Marketing at McCormick & Company, Inc. "No matter their flavor preference, respondents are clearly looking for more than just some heat on the court this month — they're also looking for it on their food."

As March heats up with friendly competition and spicy indulgences, Frank's RedHot has expanded its offerings with two new product lines to enhance game day spreads: Frank's RedHot Dip'n Sauce and Frank's RedHot Squeeze Sauce. Available now at select retailers and coming soon to stores nationwide, the Dip'n Sauce line features three new creamy flavors - Buffalo Ranch, Roasted Garlic and Golden - ideal for dipping, dunking, or spreading on sandwiches. The Squeeze Sauce line also features three varieties - Sriracha, Hot Honey and Creamy Buffalo - available in an easy-to-squeeze bottle with a pointed nozzle, ensuring a precise, controlled drizzle that adds a touch of heat and flavor to favorite foods.

This survey of 2,000 college basketball fans split evenly by East, South, Midwest, and West regions was commissioned by Frank's RedHot® between February 9 and February 20, 2024.

Media Note: Download high-resolution product images and the survey infographic here. Photos may be credited to Frank's RedHot.

*Source Euromonitor International Limited; based on custom research conducted September 2023 for volume sales (ounces/ml) in 2022 through all retail channels. Hot sauce is defined as a purely liquid spicy table sauce/condiment with vinegar as a substantial ingredient. Excludes chili pastes.

About Frank's RedHot
It all started back in 1920 when the first bottle of Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce was introduced. Made with a premium blend of aged cayenne peppers, Frank's RedHot adds the perfect blend of flavor and heat to your favorite foods. Frank's Cayenne Pepper Sauce was used as the secret ingredient in the original Buffalo wings created in Buffalo, NY in 1964. Try our family of products including the Original sauce, Buffalo Wings sauce, Queso Dip seasoning mix, Buffalo Ranch seasoning, Frozen Buffalo Wings and more. Visit for more information and recipes.

Frank's is one of McCormick & Company's (MKC) brands. With over $6.5 billion in annual sales across 150 countries and territories, McCormick is a global leader in flavor. Founded in 1889 and headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maryland USA, McCormick is guided by our principles and committed to our Purpose – To Stand Together for the Future of Flavor. McCormick envisions A World United by Flavor where healthy, sustainable, and delicious go hand in hand. To learn more, visit or follow McCormick & Company on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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SOURCE McCormick & Company, Inc.