Buffalo stampede

The move towards the spicy, hot pepper-laden flavoring that first took root years ago in Buffalo, N.Y., on chicken wings is now showing up in gobs of other new products at fast food joints and grocery stores, reports USA Today.

Last year, a record 47 new products with the term "Buffalo" in their names showed up in supermarkets, according to Datamonitor, and 28 more hit the shelves this year through mid-September.  Among them, Procter & Gamble is rolling out Pringles Bold Bites, a thicker crisp than the Buffalo Flavored Pringles Extreme already on the market. Kraft Foods added a Buffalo-style pizza to its South Beach Living line last year.

On the foodservice front, Subway introduced a $5-foot long Buffalo Chicken sub last week; Wendy’s began selling Bold Buffalo Boneless Wings this summer, setting a company record for new product sales.

Apparently flavor kick in otherwise bland products is one reason for buffalo flavoring. "It's good for taking consumers' minds and taste buds off the fact that some products may be cutting fat, calories and even portion sizes," says Tom Vierhile, director of product launch analytics at Datamonitor.

The aging population is another big driver, says Tony Pace, who oversees Subway's consumer marketing arm. "Aging palates like spicier stuff." It's no coincidence that more Buffalo products are arriving as the weather cools. "People like fuller-flavored stuff this time of year," says Pace.

Meanwhile, the most popular Web recipe in January for Campbell’s was Frank's RedHot Buffalo Chicken Dip giving a Buffalo spin to the company's Swanson Premium Chicken. The recipe became so popular — with 300,000 unique visitors in three months — that it now has its own website: www.buffalochickendip.com.