A North Carolina hot sauce company is apparently in hot, uh, water, because its flagship product – Texas Pete – is made in Winston-Salem, not Texas.
OK, so there’s a lot going on here to try and figure out. Here’s what happened:
A man from California bought some Texas Pete hot sauce. Easy enough start. Who doesn’t love Texas Pete? It’s made right here in North Carolina, and it tastes delicious.
Turns out, Philip White isn’t a fan of North Carolina, or at least that the company making Texas Pete (the T.W. Garner Food Company) is trying to pretend it has anything to do with Texas. So he is suing the company.
White is claiming that Texas Pete is essentially false advertising.
“By representing that its Texas Pete® brand hot sauce products are Texas products, when they are not, Defendant has cheated its way to a market-leading position in the $3 billion-dollar hot-sauce industry at the expense of law-abiding competitors and consumers nationwide who desire authentic Texas hot sauce and reasonably, but incorrectly, believe that is what they are getting when they purchase Texas Pete,” the complaint says.
So White says that the brand is taking advantage of the fact that people like Texas more than North Carolina, at least when it comes to hot sauce.
“Defendant concocted this false marketing and labeling scheme specifically because it knows the state of Texas enjoys a certain mysticism and appeal in the consumer marketplace and is known for its quality cuisine, spicy food, and hot sauce in particular.”
The lawsuit is filed as a class action lawsuit, with the stated intent of having the company “change its unlawful advertising and labeling practices for the benefit of consumers.”
We’ll point out that the back of the bottle clearly has a Made in North Carolina label on it, but apparently that isn’t quite enough.