Baby boomers and their aging senses are fueling a major sales surge in spicy foods and sauces, turning up the heat on mainstream restaurant menus and supermarket salsa aisles. Market experts theorize that as the generation experiences a diminished sense of taste, consumers are using their enormous buying power to demand spicier foods for all, reports the Boston Globe.
After the age of 40, the number of nerve receptors in the nose and tongue diminish, and flavors dull. Spicy foods, which use a chemosensory system that conveys sensations such as temperature and pain, fix that problem. And whatever baby boomers want, baby boomers get. By the time the last boomer turns 65 in 2030, the generation will control 40% of disposable income in the US.