What’s the Big Dill? Suddenly, Pickles Are Everywhere

green and white oval fruits

Pickles are having a moment. From Dill Pickle Slim Jims to Trader Joe’s Perfectly Pickled Pups corn dogs, the dill flavor seems to be all over store shelves and menus, for that matter.

Goldfish crackers recently jumped aboard the pickle train too, according to an article by Food and Wine. Spicy Dill Pickle goldfish crackers were launched for a limited time this month. The item was unveiled due to popular demand.

“Overwhelming demand on social media and even a petition for a pickle flavor fueled the creation of our new Spicy Dill Pickle cracker,” Janda Lukin, SVP and chief marketing officer of Campbell’s Snacks, told The Food Institute.

Why pickles, and why now?

The Appeal of the Pickle 

Sammi Haber Brondo, a registered dietitian nutritionist based in New York City, said consumers are increasingly drawn to unexpected and adventurous flavors, and dill pickle fits the trend.

“The pickle flavor is a unique and bold combination of tangy, salty, and savory notes. This flavor profile offers a distinct and memorable taste experience that stands out from more traditional options,” she said.

The registered dietitian nutritionist also noted that CVS recently launched Well Market, a food and beverage brand that provides unique flavor profiles, and one of the items in its portfolio is Zesty Dill Pickle Flavor-Infused Almonds.

Should Food Manufacturers Add Pickle-flavored Items?  

In the summer of 2024, many food brands may be left asking: Dill, or no dill?

According to most industry experts, adding pickle flavors is a smart choice to stay current and relevant. Introducing innovative flavors like dill can refresh product lineups and prevent consumer fatigue, a real concern in today’s evolving food landscape, Haber Brondo said.

Pickles aren’t the right choice for every food business, but the trend does show that variety and creativity can pay significant dividends these days.

The Food Institute Podcast’s “Foodservice Gamechangers” Series

Get to know the men and women behind the scenes of foodservice distribution in a new, limited series from The Food Institute Podcast called “Foodservice Gamechangers.” Recently, Pat Mulhern, advisor to The Food Institute, sat down for brief conversations with seven of the most influential foodservice merchandising and distribution leaders. Highlighting their food career journeys and management styles, the conversations feature insightful thoughts on what may lie ahead for manufacturers, distributors, and operators in foodservice.