FSI – What’s New and Notable – 002

This week’s edition of FSI What’s New & Notable is focusing on hot sauce. The FSI featured a ginormous burger that took up 50% of the ad. It was a drippy burger too, like the kind you see on Carl’s Jr. television ads.

CHA! Sauce by Texas Pete

CHA! Sauce by Texas Pete

We aren’t burger people and were about to flip on by when we looked down to see a familiar shaped bottle, with a yellow instead of green top. That got us going. So did the copy:

CHA!LLENGE ORDINARY

Looking back up to the top, we saw the offer for $1.00 off CHA! by Texas Pete ®.

Who the heck is Texas Pete and what’s he doing making “chicken sauce”?

Our stash of the original sriracha sauce.

Our stash of the original sriracha sauce.

In California, most folks are familiar with Sriracha sauce. The bottle has a big rooster on it (but we call it “chicken sauce”). The company, Huy Fong Foods, ran into some trouble at the beginning of the year after residents near its factory in Irwindale, California (a LA suburb) complained that peppery fumes were giving them headaches and irritating their eyes and throats. There were talks of shutting the factory down — which would muck with the supply. So for a while, there was a run on Sriracha as people stocked up.

>>Note: The issue has been resolved.<<

So what’s the deal about Texas Pete and his CHA! sauce?

On the landing page of their website (www.texaspete.com), CHA! is described as being:

“…the newest sauce to bear the Texas Pete name. This bold and balanced Sriracha has big flavor that your taste buds are bound to become addicted to…”

Tell us more…

So we clicked to read a more detailed description that placed an emphasis on how to use Sriracha sauce:

When it comes to describing new CHA! by Texas Pete®, everyone loves it for a different reason. Some crave the tantalizing blend of spicy sweetness that makes it the perfect topping for pasta, pizza, hot dogs and hamburgers. Others can’t live without the tangy, exotic heat that works great as a secret ingredient in all your sauces, soups and marinades. No matter how you use it—in the kitchen or on the table—now is the time to Embrace Your CHA!ddiction.

So it is a knockoff of our SoCal chicken sauce?

Apparently there’s a whole backstory which is explained under the menu tab “Legend.”

To start, Texas Pete is based in North Carolina. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.

Legend has it that, when Sam Garner and his three sons, Thad, Ralph and Harold, were trying to come up with a brand name for this spicy new sauce they had created, a marketing advisor suggested the name ”Mexican Joe” to connote the piquant flavor reminiscent of the favorite foods of our neighbors to the south. ”Nope!” said the patriarch of the Garner family. ”It’s got to have an American name!” Sam suggested they move across the border to Texas, which also had a reputation for spicy cuisine. Then he glanced at son Harold, whose nickname was ”Pete” and the Texas Pete cowboy was born.

The Legend section also explains that Texas Pete Hot Sauce was not the first product the Garner family made and sold. That distinction belonged to Garners’ Barbecue Sauce.

If you are really curious, there was an extensive story written about the Garners in the local edition of the Business Journal.

Brian at Hot Sauce Daily gave it a test drive back in January. He states:

This is a great example of a Sriracha style sauce that you can share with family and friends that have never experienced the garlic, fresh chiles and heat that is Sriracha.

Humm… seems to us that it could be bland in comparison to the “Chicken Sauce” we know and love here in California. But at $1.00 off, IF we can track it down in our local market, we’ll give it a shot.

Bumper Sticker

Bumper Sticker

Next up, cereal where “Protein is the new Gluten-Free.”


The FSI feature is where we take a look as the free standing insert (FSI) ads that appear in the Sunday paper. We like them for several reasons.

  • You can get a sense of what’s trending.
  • You can get a feel for pricing.
  • You get a glimpse at what’s new.
  • You can study the communication style — how is the brand delivering its message.

Staying Curious:

We feel that this is a really fun exercise and hope you feel the same.

Please keep your eyes peeled and let us know if you see anything that made you stop, read and ponder.

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ChaLenge1a

We’re up for the challenge, are you?

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