In a nod to the classic sweethearts given as Valentine’s Day gifts, Buffalo Wild Wings has created its own version of the traditional treat, with Blazin’ sauce baked right into the candy. To celebrate this Blazin’ creation, the Buffalo Wild Wings social media team sent influencers and fans gift packages featuring a box of 12 hearts stamped with messages such as “BBQT,” “Wild 4 U,” “Blazin’” and “Hot 4 U,” and a custom card.
“Fans love the wing sauce flavors at Buffalo Wild Wings,” said Micah Hart, Director of Social Media. “So as we thought about how we could create something fun and unique for Valentine’s Day, we looked at creating the world’s spiciest candy hearts.”
The Buffalo Wild Wings social media team worked with its agency, 22squared, on the Wild Hearts concept. But to make these candy hearts a reality, the social media team enlisted the help of Buffalo Wild Wings culinary experts Dave Woolley, Director of Culinary Innovation, and Eric Stein, Manager of Culinary Innovation.
“It’s fun working on things like this,” said Wolley. “We’re always in the mindset of ‘what if.’ Our job is to tinker and innovate and this was just one more thing we could tinker with.”
Woolley and Stein created the candy hearts in Inspire’s state-of-the-art test kitchen, where they used a special oven with a dehydrator to cook the Blazin’ sauce into vanilla-flavored fondant. Over a matter of days, they were able to fulfill the social team’s vision by rolling out, cutting and drying hundreds of Wild Hearts.
“Our amazing kitchen allowed us to work on the fly,” said Woolley.
“We were really lucky to have the oven with the dehydrator,” Stein continued. “Because of that, we were able to knock out more than 1,000 candy hearts in a matter of hours.”
The team will also be celebrating the holiday with a Valentines-themed Instagram filter launching Friday.