As beloved Sriracha producer Huy Fong Foods and CEO David Tran struggle to keep their Irwindale, Calif. factory open, another competitor is slowly rolling out its own version of the borderline cult-like condiment. (No offense on the cult thing, but it’s true.) The competition: Hot sauce giant Tabasco.
That such a major corporation could be producing one of the most popular condiments in the world is huge. First, Tabasco has a presence in 166 countries, with unparalleled distribution. Also, people have all sorts of emotional attachment to this hot sauce. It’s like the Helen of Troy of hot sauces. People WILL go to war for this stuff.
For the time being, Tabasco is trying to keep its Sriracha quiet. You can only buy the sauce at Tabasco’s official "country store" (and on the country store’s website), where’s it’s almost twice as expensive as the popular Huy Fong Sriracha (which may be forced to relocate after locals complained about Sriracha-tainted air).
Why stay so quiet? According to Grubstreet, it might be that Tabasco isn't happy with the final product yet:
"Rumors from Avery Island suggest the reality is that Tabasco simply isn't yet pleased with the product or the packaging, at least not enough for a national rollout. We've heard that might happen in early 2015, but Tabasco officials are, predictably, staying quiet about that."
So, yeah, this feels like a big deal. But I feel the need to tell you all: It’s just a condiment! That’s all it is. Granted, it's a good sauce that adds some hot, spicy flavor to your food. But it's just red peppers in sauce form, really. And now there’s another option. Which is really only natural under a capitalist economy. Now we have options, which will allow people to purchase what they want based on their taste and price preference. Yes, some natural free-market competition.