Page 5 of 6 FirstFirst ... 3456 LastLast
Results 61 to 75 of 78

Thread: Hot Sauce!

  1. #61
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    CA, USA
    Posts
    4,895
    That's good information to have. I had no idea that kind of thing could happen from eating a pepper.

    I thought I liked really hot, peppery foods, but I recently found out there are limits. I tried out some Paqui Ghost Pepper chips. Well, they are the genuine article alright, but I realized they were a bit too much for me. I got upset stomach pains and maybe even a headache. Although not nearly as bad an effect as the guy got from eating the world's hottest pepper, I discovered I'm not as hot spice-tolerant as I thought I was.

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    I've lost my tolerance for extreme peppers with age.

    I tried some of those Pagui Ghost Pepper Chips too. They were on sale when I was grocery shopping and I was hungry (never shop for groceries when hungry). As I was driving home, I tore into those feckin chips and they scorched me. I had to pull over because my eyes were tearing so bad that I couldn't drive. I only ate a few chips, then spent the rest of the day trying to convince my family to try one, just to validate my experience (or at least not feel so wimpy). Now I know why those were on sale.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    George Dickel Tabasco Barrel Finish whisky

    Yes I would try a shot.
    No I don't think it will be good.

    This Tabasco Whisky Will Make You Forget All About Fireball


    COURTESY OF GEORGE DICKEL
    George Dickel teamed up with the hot sauce brand for this pepper barrel-aged whisky.

    ADAM CAMPBELL-SCHMITT May 14, 2018

    Sure, there are quite a few cocktails that incorporate a splash of hot sauce—Bloody Marys and Micheladas come to mind. And when it comes to whisky, if spicing things up was your jam, you could always opt for a cinnamon whisky, including the infamous Fireball brand. But one of America's classic whisky distillers is kicking it up a notch with the help of one of America's classic hot sauce makers as Tennesee's George Dickel launches a Tabasco Barrel Finish whisky in collaboration with Lousiana-based McIlhenny Company's Tabasco brand, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year.

    The whisky is aged for 30 days in barrels sourced from Tabasco which are used to age the peppers used in the iconic red sauce. Then actual Tabasco sauce is distilled into an essence and blended into the batch. The final product apparently offers imbibers a 70 proof whisky with a spicy kick with a smooth finish.

    The company recommends enjoying the Tabasco-flavored whisky as a shot with a celery salt-rimmed glass, with pickle juice, or with an ice chaser. If you're wondering how well a "Hot Dickel" will be received by the distilling community, apparently the spiced-up whisky also won a gold medal at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

    “George Dickel Tennessee Whisky and Tabasco are two of the most iconic brands the South has to offer for a reason—the craftsmanship that goes into creating these products is the real deal,” Jeff Parrott, Director of American Whisk(e)y Development at Diageo (George Dickel's parent company), said in a statement. “Both brands have such a rich history, and we’re proud to collaborate with our friends at McIlhenny Company to marry their unique flavor with our quality Tennessee whisky.”

    George Dickel Tabasco Barrel Finish is hitting shelves nationwide this month, and will retail for $24.99 for a 750-milliliter bottle, but will also come in 50-milliliter and one-liter sizes.
    THREADS
    Let's talk Whisky!
    Hot Sauce!
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    Slightly OT

    Tourists compete to see how many chilis they can eat in 1 minute inside pepper-filled hot spring
    The winner gulped down 20 peppers, could you do any better?
    by Alex Linder December 10, 2018 in Gallery



    With snow falling across the country, what better way to warm up than by stuffing yourself with chili peppers inside of a hot spring pool?

    Over the weekend, a scenic area outside of Jiangxi’s Yichun city held a competition where brave tourists took a seat inside some pepper-filled pools and tried to gulp down as many chilis as they could in a minute.

    The winner was one young woman who managed to eat 20 peppers in 60 seconds, earning herself the title of “Spicy Queen.”

    Though, she is far from China’s most impressive pepper-eater. Earlier this year, a scenic spot in Henan province held a similar competition where the winner somehow managed to eat 50 chilis in one minute and not die immediately afterward.
    There are many places on my body where I don't want immersed pepper oils.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    Sriracha

    In Home Of Original Sriracha Sauce, Thais Say Rooster Brand Is Nothing To Crow About
    January 16, 20194:49 AM ET
    Heard on Morning Edition
    MICHAEL SULLIVAN


    Sriraja Panich is the brand name of one of two Sriracha sauces created by Saowanit Trikityanukul's family. The family sold the brand to Thaitheparos, Thailand's leading sauce company, in the 1980s. The brand has struggled to gain a foothold in the U.S., where the Huy Fong Rooster brand of Sriracha, created by Vietnamese-American David Tran, reigns supreme.
    Michael Sullivan/for NPR

    Sriracha sauce. It's everywhere. Even beer and donuts. The fiery chili paste concocted by Vietnamese-American immigrant David Tran has conquered the American market and imagination in the past decade.

    But the original Sriracha is actually Thai — and comes from the seaside city of Si Racha, where most residents haven't even heard of the U.S. brand, which is now being exported to Thailand.

    I decided to go to the source to get the dirt on the sauce, and sat down with 71-year-old Saowanit Trikityanukul. Her grandmother was making Sriracha sauce when David Tran was still a baby, in what was then South Vietnam.

    "If my grandmother was still alive today, she'd be 127 years old," Saowanit says, sitting in her garden in Si Racha, (the preferred anglicized spelling of the city's name) overlooking the Gulf of Thailand. She remembers helping her grandmother in the kitchen as an impatient 9-year-old.

    "My job was to mix all the ingredients together. But I wasn't very happy doing it and I didn't really pay attention. I regret that now," she says. "Because I could have learned a lot."


    Saowanit Trikityanukul, 71, remembers helping her grandmother make Sriracha sauce when she was a child.
    Michael Sullivan/for NPR

    Her grandmother is widely credited with being the first to make and sell the sauce. But Saowanit says it was really her great-grandfather, Gimsua Timkrajang, who made it first. Family lore says he traveled a lot on business to neighboring Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos and noticed they all had different sauces — sweet, salty, sour — but nothing that combined all three.

    "So, my great-grandfather got an idea that he wanted to make one sauce that went along with all Thai foods," she says, "very creamy and different from other sauces."

    And he got it. Not that it was easy making it. Saowanit remembers one batch that took weeks, even months, to prepare.

    "We had to prepare the ingredients like pickled garlic, so we had to peel the garlic to make sure it was good," she says. "And the the chilis had to be perfectly red. And then the salt — my grandmother would only choose the big chunks and boil it, then filter and strain it ... and leave it in the sun until it dried."

    The family originally made the sauce just for themselves and their friends. Then her grandmother's sister and brother started selling their own versions in Si Racha, where its harmonious blend of chilis, garlic, salt and vinegar appeals to both locals and tourists from nearby Bangkok. But the family never patented the name.

    "We didn't want to keep it to ourselves," she says, adding that it wasn't much of a secret anyway — the ingredients were there on the side of the bottles for everyone to see. Soon there were dozens of imitators in Si Racha and beyond. Including, eventually, the Terminator of Srirachas, David Tran's famous Rooster brand.

    "He saw an opportunity and made his own business," she says. She doesn't begrudge him his success, but "why do they have to use our name? "Champagne is one kind of drink. Sriracha is one kind of sauce."

    And the American version is very different from what's made here, she says. I've brought along a half-dozen local favorites for her to try, blindfolded, along with a bottle of the American interloper. She works her way through the Thai versions. Surprise! Her two favorites are the ones originally made by her grandmother's siblings.


    Gimsua Timkrajang, shown seated in this undated photo, was the first to make Sriracha sauce, according to his great-granddaughter. The sauce gets its name from Si Racha, the family's seaside hometown in Thailand.
    Michael Sullivan/for NPR

    I'm still impressed, though, that she can tell them apart blindfolded. They taste exactly the same to me. When it comes to the Rooster brand? After a tiny spoonful, she draws a sharp breath.

    "It's not tasty," she says, taking a sip of water. "It's not mixed together properly. There's only one taste." Saowanit says a proper Sriracha sauce needs to be what Thais call klom klom — the hotness, the sour, the sweet and the garlic all blending together seamlessly, none overpowering the other. The American version, she says, just brings heat.

    I test her theory at a nearby restaurant where the lunchtime crowd is digging into their food. They seem surprised to learn there's an American Sriracha. Tanpatha Punsawat is first on the spoon. "It's hot," she says carefully. "Very hot."

    But is it good, I ask?

    "It's OK," she says politely. ( Loosely translated, her facial expression was "ugh.") Her dining companion, Chuwet Kanja, tries next, rolling the Rooster around in his mouth. "No good," he says, making a face. "When I first tasted it, I wanted to gag. Too bitter. It's not klom klom." I give him a spoonful of the leading Thai brand. He smiles and gives it a thumbs up. Order restored.

    Reactions like these haven't stopped importer Super Ting Tong from bringing the Rooster Brand to Thailand. And it's showing up on more and more tables at upmarket eateries and on supermarket shelves in the capital, Bangkok.

    "You know, it's not an overnight success, but that's OK, we're working more on the slow and steady progression," says Robert Booth, one of the founding partners of Super Ting Tong, who says the company has imported two container loads of the Rooster brand to Thailand in the past year and change. That's about 60,000 bottles — enough to convince the company to order more. Super Ting Tong is a tongue-in-cheek name that roughly translates as "Super crazy" in Thai. And Booth admits the idea of importing Sriracha to Thailand has been met with some resistance.

    "You occasionally run into some people who have very strong views about the Rooster brand not being the original Thai Sriracha, mostly the kind of angry Facebook trolls you would expect, " Booth says. "But, given the love of spicy sauces and spicy foods in Thailand, I think there's more than enough room to incorporate a new player in the market."

    Leading Thai manufacturer Thaitheparos, which bought the Sriraja Panich brand from Saowanit Trikityanukul's family over 40 years ago, knows about slow starts. It has been exporting their Sriracha to the U.S. for more than a decade. It hasn't been pretty.

    "We try to tell people we're the original Sriracha from Thailand," says Varanya Winyarat, deputy managing director of Thaitheparos. "But when Americans try Sriracha sauce, they try the Vietnamese-American one first, so they think the taste should be like that."

    She's frustrated and thinks maybe her father, who runs the company, should shell out more money for advertising and a new distributor. "Now we only sell in Asian supermarkets. We have to go mainstream," she says.

    "I think I have to educate them first what the sauce should taste like," she says, adding, "you have to educate them about the basics of the taste first. Then I think they would understand. "

    She's not worried about the American Sriracha eating into market share here—"Thai people understand the real taste," she says, almost dismissively.

    But she admits David Tran's Rooster brand has already crushed her hopes of conquering the U.S. market. But Varanya and export manager Paweena Kingpad say world Sriracha domination may still be in sight because of strong sales in another global Sriracha superpower: China.

    "China is a big market for us — the biggest market, 100,000 bottles a month," Paweena says.

    When asked why their brand is doing so well in China, the two women look at each other and smile. "Because Asian people know how to eat," Varanya says, giggling.

    Game on, Rooster.
    Interesting especially in context of this earlier article.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    hot pot toothpaste

    i can't even...

    Hot pot flavored toothpaste goes on sale in China!
    Unfortunately, it was just a limited-edition run
    by Alex Linder May 10, 2019



    Want to preserve that spicy tingle from eating hot pot even after brushing? Have we got just the product for you!

    A Chinese toothpaste company named Leng Suan Ling (冷酸灵) has partnered with hot pot chain Xiao Long Kan (小龙坎) to release a line of limited-edition hot pot-flavored toothpastes which come in three flavors: “medium-spicy,” “Sichuan-spicy,” and “absurdly-spicy.”



    Unfortunately, you won’t be able to find these products at your local FamilyMart.

    Over the first two or three days after they went on sale, 3,957 sets were reportedly sold online. There were then advertised to be a mere 300 left which appear to have now been quickly bought up for prices as low as 30 yuan ($4.40).




    Alas, it appears that this revolution in toothpaste flavoring was essentially an effort at cross-promotional hype. Suppose we’ll have to stick to our traditional Chinese-made toothpastes flavored with tea and poison.
    THREADS
    I will never understand China
    Hot Sauce!
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  7. #67
    I can't even imagine how to brush your teeth with hot pot flavored toothpaste. But probably it could be an interesting experience. It is a pity that I did not get it.

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    Does Sriracha deserve its own indie thread?

    The sriracha story is such a great American success story.

    The story of sriracha: how a hot sauce launched by refugee from Vietnam spawned a food empire
    Contrary to popular belief, Huy Fong’s sriracha is an American-made spicy sauce with Thai roots, invented by Chinese-Vietnamese refugee David Tran in 1980
    Tran began by delivering his product personally across California. Today his sauce business is worth US$80 million
    Alkira Reinfrank
    Published: 7:00am, 24 May, 2019


    A bottle of Huy Fong’s famed hot sauce in the Asian food section of a New York supermarket. Photo: AlamyA bottle of Huy Fong’s famed hot sauce in the Asian food section of a New York supermarket. Photo: Alamy

    When Sriracha fanatic Griffin Hammond first visited the Huy Fong Foods factory, where his beloved hot sauce is made, it took his breath away – literally.
    “The smell inside the jalapeno grinding room was unbearable. I was wearing a mask but my eyes were watering, my nose was running. I could barely breathe,” the 34-year-old American filmmaker says.
    More than 45 million kilograms (100 million pounds) of jalapenos are ground up each year to produce Huy Fong Foods’ legendary sriracha hot sauce, lauded for its spicy kick, vinegary tang and garlicky aftertaste. Recognised the world over for the white rooster on its label, this ubiquitous sauce, which first tantalised taste buds in 1980, has developed a cult following.
    From fans getting tattoos of the bottle and personalising car number plates after it, to astronauts on the International Space Station taking it into orbit, never has there been a condiment with such a loyal fan base. Heat seekers are known to add it to almost any dish – drizzling it on pizza and sushi; mixing it into bowls of pasta or pho.
    Easily spotted on the tables of Asian restaurants in the West, it is a common misconception that the “rooster sauce” – with its bottle covered in traditional Chinese characters and Vietnamese writing – is made in Asia. It’s also not produced by a Thai: the spicy sauce owes its success to soft-spoken Chinese-Vietnamese refugee David Tran.
    “Americans don’t realise it is actually made in America. And that’s why I wanted to tell the story,” says Hammond, who went on a journey across two countries to make a documentary about the American-made hot sauce.


    A young David Tran, who launched Huy Fong Foods’ sriracha hot sauce. Photo: Griffin Hammond.

    Huy Fong’s sriracha hot sauce is made in a factory in Irwindale, California. Tens of millions of bottles fly off its conveyor belts every year, yet demand often outpaces supply.
    Tran left the country of his birth in 1979, at a time when people of Chinese ancestry were being persecuted in the wake of the Sino-Vietnamese war.
    He and his family sailed on a freighter called the Huey Fong bound for the British colony of Hong Kong. The ship spent 30 days in Hong Kong waters before the colonial authorities allowed it to dock; the Tran family were later given asylum in the US.


    Huy Fong’s factory in Rosemead, California. Photo: Griffin Hammond

    When they first arrived in Boston, Tran missed the food from home, like many immigrants at the time, and struggled to find fresh chillies. When his friend told him they grew in California, he moved with his family to Los Angeles.
    “He just needed a job and found this niche where lots of Vietnamese immigrants in LA wanted hot sauce. So he started making the sauce and people liked it. He was pouring it by hand into glass bottles and delivering it personally [across California in his blue Chevy van],” says Hammond, who spent time with Tran at his factory while filming his 2013 short documentary, Sriracha.
    What started in 1980 as a one-man operation on the outskirts of LA’s Chinatown soon grew into the empire it is today. Now in his 70s, Tran still oversees the US$80 million business named after the freighter which carried him on the first stage of his new life.


    Tran arrived in Hong Kong on the Huey Fong as a Chinese-Vietnamese refugee. He later named his famous hot sauce company after it. Photo: Courtesy of Griffin Hammond.

    “I had nothing when I came to America. I had my wife and children to look after,” Tran says. “I saw peppers and I started making the sauce. All I needed was US$2,000 a month. But I earned more than [that] in my first month. I did nothing special but make chilli sauce. What I got was way beyond what I have ever asked.”
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    Continued from previous post



    Huy Fong Foods also produces sambal oelek, a spicy paste, and chilli garlic sauce, but its sriracha is still by far the biggest seller, with the factory churning out 12,000 bottles an hour to keep up with demand.
    This is quite a feat for a company that has never bought advertising for its products, instead creating a food empire based solely on word of mouth. This has not stopped diehard fans creating dozens of their own adverts and songs dedicated to their favourite hot sauce on YouTube.
    People in Si Racha [Thailand] were surprised to hear that sriracha, the namesake of their town, could be popular across the ocean
    Griffin Hammond, filmmaker
    While Huy Fong’s product is the most recognisable sriracha sauce in the West, it is by no means the only one on the market, nor was it the first. “Sriracha” is a generic name for a Thai hot sauce believed to have originated in the beachside town of Si Racha, on the east coast of Thailand.
    There are numerous brands selling their own version of sriracha sauce in Thailand and, like ketchup, the flavour varies. But at its core sriracha contains chilli peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt.
    “Some sriracha sauces are sweeter, some are more spicy, some are more sour. It depends on the producer,” says Titima Runguphan, founder of the Thai Culture Association in Hong Kong.



    A selection of the many sriracha brands available. Photo: Griffin Hammond

    The Si Racha district of Chonburi province is known for its chillis and seafood, Titima says. And Thai people love to tuck into fresh seafood served with a healthy dash of sriracha on the side, or an omelette over rice that’s smothered in it.
    It is unclear who invented the much-loved sauce, but one of the country’s most popular variants, Sriraja Panich, brands itself the “original” sriracha sauce.
    Sriraja Panich was invented in 1949 by a woman named Thanom Chakkapak. The story goes that she made it for friends and family in Si Racha using local chillis and garlic, and so named her product after the town. Seventy years later, Sriraja Panich is owned by food company Thaitheparos.


    Filmmaker Griffin Hammond made the short documentary sriracha in 2013. Photo: Griffin Hammond

    Recently it tried to crack the US market dominated by Huy Fong’s sauce, but to no avail. It has since shifted focus to China, after Thaitheparos’ vice-president saw fake versions of the sauce on Chinese shelves a few years ago.
    To a connoisseur of Huy Fong’s variant, Sriraja Panich will taste slightly sweeter, less spicy, and have a thinner consistency than the American favourite – but that’s the way the Thais like it.
    “[Huy Fong’s sriracha] doesn’t have layers. Thai people, we emphasis layers of taste; you have to have sweet, you have to have sour and you have to have saltiness … to suit the Thai taste. So maybe [Huy Fong’s spicy sriracha] … is suitable for Chinese people or Westerners, but for Thai people they would prefer the Thai recipe,” Titima says.


    Griffin Hammond checks on the progress of jalapenos growing in Ventura County, California, for use in Huy Fong’s sriracha sauce. Photo: Griffin Hammond

    While there is much debate as to which brand can lay claim to the tastiest sriracha sauce, one thing is for sure: if you live outside Thailand, you’re probably pronouncing its name incorrectly.
    Sriracha has three syllables: see-RAH-cha. The first ‘R’ in sriracha is silent. “Although we spell it with an ‘R,’ it is not pronounced because it is something in Thai language that we call a false cluster,” Titima says.
    Hammond travelled to Si Racha on his journey to discover the origins of the hot sauce, and says locals were amused to find that a version of it was so popular in the US.


    Jalapenos growing in California. More than 45 million kilograms of the spicy peppers are ground up for Huy Fong’s sriracha sauce each year. Photo: Griffin Hammond

    “There’s a common misconception in many places outside the US that Americans don’t like hot things. And so people in Si Racha were surprised to hear that sriracha, the namesake of their town, could be popular across the ocean,” he says of the sauce, which he uses daily.
    As for Sriraja Panich, while he is a fan, Hammond is not going to be changing his hot sauce allegiances any time soon. “Yes, [Huy Fong’s sriracha] is still a better sauce for my American palate, I suppose,” he says.
    Back in America, Huy Fong Foods remains a family-run business, with Tran’s son the company’s president and his daughter its vice-president. Despite his success, Tran has no plans to cash in on his good fortune.


    David Tran at the Los Angeles factory. Photo: Griffin Hammond

    “My dream is fulfilled. I don’t want anything else,” he says. “My goal was never to make money. I asked for little. Do not do things for the money; you won’t succeed.”
    As for why there is a rooster on the front of the bottle, it is because Tran was born in the Year of the Rooster, according to the Chinese zodiac – a bold symbol for a man behind one of America’s boldest sauces.

    Additional reporting by Yang Yang
    This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: When the spice is right

    Quote Originally Posted by EqualStage View Post
    I can't even imagine how to brush your teeth with hot pot flavored toothpaste. But probably it could be an interesting experience. It is a pity that I did not get it.
    haaaaaaa. yeah, i feel ya.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    $2.23 m

    That's gotta burn...

    Jalapeño farmer wins $23.3 million in heated dispute with Sriracha maker


    Craig Underwood of Underwood Ranches tosses jalapeño peppers into the air in a Ventura County field where they are grown.(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

    By ALEXA DÍAZ AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT EDITOR
    JULY 12, 2019 12:58 PM

    After the collapse of a nearly 30-year partnership with the maker of the world-famous Sriracha sauce and a multimillion-dollar lawsuit with the company, Craig Underwood is still betting on his farm’s peppers.

    A jury recently awarded $23.3 million to Underwood Ranches after a bitter lawsuit with Huy Fong Foods Inc., the manufacturer of the wildly popular Sriracha in the signature green-capped bottle. The family-owned Underwood farm was once the exclusive supplier of the chile peppers at the core of Huy Fong’s rooster-labeled sauces.

    The trial, which began in early June, came to a close last week when a civil jury determined that Irwindale-based Huy Fong breached its contract with the chile grower and committed fraud by intentionally misrepresenting and concealing information.

    “It certainly isn’t our nature to give up. We felt we had been wronged, so we were hoping we could right that through the court,” said Underwood, who manages the Camarillo farm. “When the verdict came down, there was a lot of celebrating. We celebrated at lunch. We celebrated at dinner. And then we celebrated the next day.”

    Underwood said it was an emotional moment because the dissolution of the relationship with Huy Fong had hit the grower’s finances hard.

    In 1968 — when Underwood returned home to work on the farm with his father after studying agriculture at Cornell University and serving three years in the U.S. Navy — Underwood Ranches was farming on 400 acres. At the peak of its production harvesting peppers for Huy Fong Foods in 2014, it had spread out to 4,000 acres.

    The business partnership flourished until the fall of 2016, when Huy Fong demanded Underwood Ranches return more than $1 million the manufacturer said was overpaid to the farm for growing costs, according to court documents.

    Historically, Huy Fong would prepay Underwood Ranches for the estimated costs associated with growing and harvesting the chiles. The agreement was “partly oral, partly written and partly established by the parties’ practice,” court records show.

    By January 2017, the relationship had soured to the point that the parties stopped working together.

    The next month, Huy Fong Foods filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court, which later was moved to Ventura County, where Underwood’s business is located. The grower filed a cross-complaint in February 2018, alleging that Huy Fong caused the breach in the partnership and that as a result, Underwood Ranches sustained more than $20 million in losses.


    The Underwood farm was once the exclusive supplier of jalepeño peppers for Huy Fong Foods' Sriracha.(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

    In ruling in favor of Underwood Ranches, the jury granted $14.8 million for financial losses it sustained in 2017 and 2018. The $1.5 million overpayment sought by Huy Fong was deducted and awarded to the Sriracha maker. Underwood also was awarded $10 million in punitive damages.

    Michael Martin, a lawyer representing Huy Fong, said the manufacturer’s legal team plans to fight the decision.

    “Obviously, we disagree with the verdict. We’re going to challenge it post-trial in motions and then ultimately on appeal,” Martin said. “As far as the financial impact of the verdict on the client, the company is going to continue to conduct business as usual.”

    Underwood said that now that the suit is over, his team just wants to get the farm back to normal.

    “The aftermath of the breakup has been really hard. All of a sudden, we had 1,700 acres and nothing to grow on it,” Underwood said, adding that the grower had to lay off 45 people. “We’ve had a lot of support from suppliers, our lender and people who work for us. We wouldn’t have made it otherwise.”

    Looking ahead, Underwood Ranches is still planning for its peppers to sustain the farm.

    “When our relationship with Huy Fong fell apart, we didn’t know what we were going to do on the farm. But we’re pepper growers,” Underwood said. “So after a while, we just thought, ‘Why don’t we make our own line of sauces?’”

    The sauces — including Underwood’s own version of Sriracha — started selling about a month ago in farmers markets in Ventura County as the farm shifts its focus from creation to distribution.

    David Tran, who founded the Sriracha manufacturer after fleeing Vietnam, said Underwood’s new sauces are an attempt to put the company out of business.

    “Unfortunately, rulings during the trial prevented Huy Fong from fully advising the jury of these things,” Tran said in a statement.


    Underwood Ranches now has its own line of hot sauces, including a Sriracha sauce.(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

    Meanwhile, Huy Fong Foods is now receiving its chiles from other growers in California, New Mexico and Mexico, said Donna Lam, an executive at the company.

    And at Underwood Ranches, onions, cilantro, basil and other crops now fill the plots where the peppers for Huy Fong Foods once grew.

    Those peppers will always be what he’s most proud of, said Underwood, whose family has been farming in Ventura County since 1867. They’re what he said he’s fought the most for and what he hopes will carry the farm forward.

    CALIFORNIA

    Alexa Díaz
    Alexa Díaz is an audience engagement editor for the Los Angeles Times.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    dementia?

    Noooooooooooooooooo!

    Uproar in China after study suggests eating chilli is linked to dementia
    Sample of Chinese people aged over 55 who ate at least 50 grams of chilli a day had a higher risk of memory loss
    Research generates a storm on social media platform Weibo, with over 300 million views
    Ann Cao
    Published: 2:21pm, 26 Jul, 2019


    Dietary guidelines in China suggest no limit for chilli consumption. Photo: Handout

    Eating chilli may be linked to a decline in cognitive function and an added risk of dementia, a study has found, causing a stir on Chinese social media.
    The study, published in the journal Nutrients in May, was conducted by five researchers from universities in Qatar, Australia and the United States. Based on data collected from 4,582 Chinese people aged over 55 during a 15-year period, it concluded that chilli intake was inversely related to cognitive ability.
    Those who ate more than 50 grams of chilli a day had more than double the risk of poor memory, and a 56 per cent higher risk of suffering memory loss, the study found.
    The cognitive decline was greater among people of average weight than among those who were overweight, it found.
    However, the way in which chilli intake might cause cognitive decline remained unknown, the researchers noted.
    The researchers’ previous study suggested that eating chilli had beneficial effects by being inversely associated with mortality, obesity and hypertension.
    “Chilli consumption was found to be beneficial for body weight and blood pressure in our previous studies,” Dr Zumin Shi, one of the five researchers, wrote. “However, in this study, we found adverse effects on cognition among older adults.”
    The study generated huge interest among chilli lovers on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, when it was posted on Wednesday by Chinese website Pear Video. The topic received more than 300 million views, with some chilli lovers standing firm and others expressing disbelief.
    “Chilli undermines my memory, but I can’t live without it,” one user said.
    “Sichuan and Hunan people would disagree [with the findings],” another commented.
    In certain regions, including the provinces of Hunan in central China and Sichuan in the southwest, almost one in three adults consume spicy food such as chilli pepper on a daily basis, according to a study published in 2015 in medical journal The BMJ.
    Jiang Zhuoqin, a nutrition professor at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, said there was no need for Chinese people to eat less spice based solely on the latest study.
    Dietary guidelines in China – in common with some other countries, including the US – suggest healthy limits to salt and sugar intake, but no such limit for chilli, Jiang said, adding that chilli flavouring is not the dominant factor determining mental health.
    Jiang questioned the robustness of the study on the basis that it did not consider varying degrees of chilli consumption in different regions.
    “People in the regions that consume chilli heavily, including Sichuan and Hunan, do not appear to be less smart than those in other areas,” he said.
    This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Social media hot over dementia link to eating chilli
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    McCormick

    Big Hot Sauce Wants More Hot Sauce
    Spice king McCormick’s acquisitions of Frank’s RedHot and Cholula give it the edge to own “the next ketchup.”
    By Austin Carr
    January 26, 2022, 5:00 AM PST

    Aisle A3-7, the condiments section of the Walmart Supercenter north of Baltimore, might as well be a theater of war. Shelves of rival ketchups, mustards, mayonnaises, and dressings stand at attention, ready to bombard taste buds. The fight isn’t only about flavor, of course, but also about branding. There’s the classic red coat and bold-black lettering of Heinz, the stout blue-and-white Hellmann’s jar, the proud yellow bottle of French’s. Cheaper, healthier, and perhaps tastier options are available, but these iconic products, conjuring familiar and delicious memories, most often prove victorious at checkout.

    Minutes up the road, at McCormick & Co.’s headquarters in Hunt Valley, Md., Chief Executive Officer Lawrence Kurzius has been plotting to send reinforcements to Walmart’s shelves, which accounted for 12% of McCormick’s $5.6 billion revenue in 2020. The 132-year-old company is best known for the crimson-capped seasoning and herbs sold up the aisle, in A12, Walmart’s spice section. But Kurzius, looking for growth beyond spices, has been aggressively targeting the hypercompetitive condiments business. In recent years his company has bought up French’s mustard, Stubb’s barbecue sauce, and Frank’s RedHot, a Louisiana-style pepper sauce that’s been dousing Buffalo wings since the 1960s.

    The addition of Frank’s, in particular, was a coup. Acquired with French’s in 2017 for $4.2 billion, it’s the biggest hot sauce in the U.S. (ahead of Tabasco) in the hottest condiment category, according to researcher Euromonitor International. Globally, hot sauce sales are up 54% since 2015, to about $5 billion, with China’s Lao Gan Ma—a savory chili oil that’s huge in Asia and has a cult following in the U.S.—outselling both Frank’s and Tabasco worldwide. Kurzius, who’s gotten in on the trend himself, dumping the stuff on his eggs and even injecting it into his Thanksgiving turkey, wanted more than a stake in a growth market. He wanted total world hot sauce supremacy. And so, just two years after the Frank’s deal, he set his sights on another powerhouse in the space: Cholula.

    Cholula, then No. 3 in the U.S. after Tabasco and Frank’s, had grown popular thanks to its distinctive rounded-wood cap and piquancy, which makes it spicier than Frank’s but just mild enough for American tastes. (On the Scoville Heat Unit scale of hot sauce hotness, Cholula scores as high as 2,000 SHUs, a bit less than a jalapeño pepper.) Brand-wise, Cholula also offered an authenticity to McCormick that Frank’s and its 900 SHUs seemed to lack, even if the made-in-Mexico sauce was actually owned by a Connecticut-based private equity firm, L Catterton, and run by executives in Stamford.

    Kurzius’s mergers-and-acquisitions team had been meeting with L Catterton over tea and Zoom since mid-2019 to feel out what a sale could look like. Things got more serious when L Catterton put Cholula up for auction in September 2020. Naturally, there was competition: A slew of food conglomerates went after the brand, including Kraft Heinz Co., according to two people familiar with the negotiations. If McCormick was to become Big Hot Sauce, it would have to fight off Big Ketchup first. Kurzius asked McCormick’s board for *permission to make a cannonball offer that would clear the field of competitors. Director W. Anthony Vernon, who’d been CEO of Kraft Foods before it merged with Heinz, says the board’s response was blunt: “Go get it.”

    McCormick’s $800 million bid beat out Heinz that November. “When I read that, I said, ‘Oh my gosh! That’s a lot of red peppers!’ ” recalls Luis Saavedra Jr., chief operating officer of Tapatío, a family-run rival to Cholula based in Southern California. Between Frank’s and Cholula, Kurzius suddenly controlled about a third of the U.S. market, according to Euromonitor, with lots more room to expand.

    McCormick already has wholesale relationships with many of the world’s largest retailers and restaurant chains through its condiments and spice business, the same international network of buyers who are now adding Cholula bottles and squeeze packs to their bulk orders. “They want to see their hot sauce on every tabletop in the world,” says Sharif Rod, who previously oversaw Cholula’s Latin America exports. “It’s the next ketchup.” (Kraft Heinz spokesperson Jenna Thornton declines to comment on the Cholula deal, but notes that the company’s “Taste Elevation platform” is experiencing significant growth. She points to advances such as Buffaranch, a spicy buffalo sauce mixed with ranch dressing. “Our innovation agenda is beginning to take hold,” Thornton says.)


    McCormick’s turmeric production line in Cockeysville, Md. Photographer: Chris Gunn for Bloomberg Businessweek
    McCormick’s hegemonistic ambitions were catalyzed, in part, by the Covid-19 era. Although its sales to restaurants declined in 2020, revenue from consumers shot up in the early months of the lockdowns as shoppers frantically replenished their pantries. Overall, customer purchases of McCormick products at U.S. stores jumped 55% in the spring quarter of last year, a wild swing for a company accustomed to single-digit growth and known for selling your grandmother a tiny jar of paprika once every couple of decades. The company, which reported record annual sales growth on Jan. 27, has seen its stock soar to all-time highs during the pandemic. It’s worth roughly double what it was in 2016, when Kurzius took over.

    To keep the growth going, he’s betting on products you might not even realize McCormick owns or touches. That includes seasonings and condiments sold in stores, but also the foods and drinks that McCormick develops for PepsiCo Inc. and other food brands. The company won’t comment on which convenience-store concoctions it’s had a hand in, but sources familiar with the operation, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the secretive industry, say McCormick has helped craft top-sellers including Bud Light Lime and Cool Ranch Doritos. Just weeks after the Cholula deal, Kurzius pushed deeper into this world by acquiring FONA International LLC, a flavor manufacturer, for $710 million.

    “Not until Lawrence did McCormick go after these bigger acquisitions to put it on the map as a major food player,” says Vernon, adding that the company’s goal is to evolve beyond “vanilla McCormick,” a reference to the company’s formerly restrained approach as well as its extract business. That means going up against the likes of Kraft Heinz and Hellmann’s, owned by Unilever Plc, to invade more grocery aisles. “I remember saying to Lawrence: ‘We’re in an arms race with far bigger players with far deeper balance sheets,’ ” Vernon says. “ ‘How do we ensure this doesn’t get away from us?’ ”

    At the start of 2020 things did seem to be getting away from McCormick. That January, Kurzius flew to China for a trip that included an uneasy Lunar New Year celebration at the company’s Shanghai office. “There were probably 1,000 people in that room,” he recalls. “Everybody was toasting and shaking hands.” The chatter among the crowd was about the dangerous new virus that had appeared in Wuhan, home of a McCormick subsidiary, Wuhan Asia-Pacific Condiments Co. “Our China leadership team was really scared,” Kurzius says.

    The situation grew worse after he got home to Maryland. McCormick’s three factories in China, where seasonings to be sold in the country are mixed and packaged, were unable to reopen after the holidays because of lockdowns, threatening sales in the company’s second-largest market. McCormick’s supply chain is vast, with about 14,000 raw materials procured from 80 countries, including China. The entire ecosystem—farms, factories, shippers—was imperiled as the pandemic gathered force. So was its food-service business; restaurant sales had historically accounted for a fifth of revenue.
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    continued from previous post


    From February to early March, McCormick’s stock price lost over a quarter of its value. But then store sales took off. After Purell and toilet paper, panic buyers went for groceries. In the week ended March 15, consumer purchases of those vanilla vanilla products shot up 54%. “It was like Thanksgiving and Christmas, with the amount of baking going on,” Kurzius says. Retail sales of broths and recipe mixes (such as taco or chili seasoning kits) more than doubled. The following week, it was all about Frank’s and French’s, with sales leaping 90%.

    Some of the enthusiasm was about stockpiling, but Kurzius says the stay-at-home era brought a cultural shift. A generation was suddenly trying to learn how to cook for the first time. “On our Ask McCormick helpline, we got the most basic questions you can imagine,” he remembers. “No lie: We’d get questions like, ‘What is a teaspoon?’ ”

    The sales growth, which continued into the summer, further strained the company’s supply chain. To triage, Kurzius suspended hundreds of less popular items, some of which are now permanently discontinued. (R.I.P. Grill Mates Carolina Gold sweet & tangy seasoning.) The company hired an additional 1,400 workers. Some factories moved to 24/7 production. This was partly about meeting demand, but it was also a way to adapt to Covid safety protocols that required workers to be spaced apart from one another and do additional cleaning and sanitation during shift changes.

    There was only so much that could be done. Whereas electronics giants try to cultivate multiple sources of components in case of geographic bottlenecks, McCormick is ultimately dependent on an extensive network of farms in places such as Indonesia, which supplies most of the world’s cinnamon, and Turkey, home of the bay leaf. “We can’t move the equator,” says Donald Pratt, managing director of McCormick’s global ingredients subsidiary. Complicating matters, the sales volatility made forecasting a nightmare. “It was taking analysts hours to make sense of the signals,” he recalls.

    Then came the great turmeric crisis. The Indian spice has taken off among Instagram foodies who herald its antioxidant powers. Sold as a ground powder, turmeric has become a rare hashtag-worthy hit among McCormick’s red-capped seasonings. It’s also responsible for the bright yellow color in French’s mustard. When McCormick’s U.S. turmeric supply started running critically low around grill season—blasphemy in the land of the Ball Park Frank—in part because ocean freight was so overburdened, the company’s sourcing group had to charter an emergency cargo plane full of the stuff to the French’s factory in Springfield, Mo. Unfortunately, the plane was somehow erroneously directed to Maryland, forcing McCormick to hire truckers to transfer the goods overnight, a 1,000-mile drive, in time for a scheduled production run.


    McCormick’s distinctive red caps. Photographer: Chris Gunn for Bloomberg Businessweek

    The turmeric production line in action. Photographer: Chris Gunn for Bloomberg Businessweek
    U.S. stocks of jarred turmeric were running out, too, due to extreme demand, leading McCormick to fast-track a sample from a different Indian supplier in late July. The partner, who already supplied turmeric to McCormick’s European markets, promised it could add enough capacity for the Americas. But it still needed to go through stateside auditing to ensure its spices met U.S. Food and Drug Administration import standards and had the right color consistency to mix properly with local ingredients. “Uniformity is super important,” says Zoe Wood, a global buyer for McCormick based in the Cayman Islands. “We don’t want red-capped turmeric sitting on the shelf next to different-colored turmeric.”

    With many employees working remotely and McCormick research labs operating with a skeleton crew, a company scientist in Maryland had to test the color palette of the new turmeric in her home kitchen after rifling through her cupboards for materials she could use as control samples. Wood logged into a videoconference with the scientist to see that she’d put together “a lovely dinner plate” of mayo, the new supplier’s exported powder, and McCormick’s original ground turmeric for comparison. She was swirling them into the mayonnaise in yellowy blobs to make sure they resulted in the same hue. “She’s like, ‘This is a match, perfect, we can make this work,’  ” Wood says. The scientist’s thumbs-up allowed the sample to jump the queue at McCormick’s backlogged lab, where it was soon tested and approved for levels of curcumin, its main chemical component. After it passed the lab work, McCormick placed a large order with the Indian supplier on Sept. 15.

    With U.S. mustard reserves secured, the company announced results for its third quarter two weeks later. Consumer sales were up 15% from the same period in 2019, but down from the prior quarter’s 26% bump. Analysts wondered whether the pandemic gains were decelerating and would prove to be fleeting or whether the continued double-digit growth represented a new normal.

    Kurzius judged the bottle of hot sauce half-full. It was time to go after Cholula. “There were a number of opportunities we had to do more boring things, like shore up our capital structure,” he says. “But we thought if we take this on now, we can really blast it out in food service when we get past this crisis and restaurants start to reopen.”

    Beyond the Red Cap
    A recent history of McCormick’s notable acquisitions

    Old Bay
    1990 $12.5m*
    Lawry’s
    2008 $604m
    Stubb’s
    2015 $100m
    Frank’s RedHot and French’s
    2017 $4.2b
    Cholula
    2020 $800m

    International brands
    Ducros (France)
    2000 $379m
    Kamis (Poland)
    2011 $286m
    DaQiao (China)
    2013 $145m

    *According to an estimate reported by the Baltimore Sun
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    Continued from previous post

    Colleagues say Kurzius’s calls for change are animated by his reverence for The Power of People, written by the late Charles P. McCormick. C.P., as he’s known, was the nephew and successor to Willoughby McCormick, who started in the business in 1889 by making root beer and fruit syrups in a Baltimore cellar. The operation grew. He acquired a Philadelphia-based spice company and, according to early 20th century advertising circulars, expanded into manufacturing mustard flour, blood purifier, cold cream, witch hazel, cream of tartar, liver pills, castor oil, and something called eye water.

    The company boomed through the 1920s. After the Depression (and Willoughby’s death in 1932), it was C.P. who rebuilt McCormick and orchestrated acquisitions of seasonings and extracts companies that transformed McCormick into a global spice empire. C.P.’s now-out-of-print business book, published in 1949, includes a chapter on defeating communism; jarringly, its paperback cover featured a mushroom cloud pluming over the planet, apparently a reference to his description of the inventiveness of future generations as “atomic.” The book captures C.P.’s unusual flair for leadership, detailing how he erected a model grocery store at McCormick’s offices so executives could compare packaging designs with those of competitors. He cut weekly production hours from 56 to 45 while raising wages by 10%, which unexpectedly boosted output.

    Most lasting was his organizational philosophy of “multiple management,” a bottom-up approach that had McCormick create mini-boards of directors among factory operators and junior employees. The premise was to build a pipeline for ideas that higher-ups might otherwise ignore. The policy led to the decision to replace 5% of production shifts with tea breaks—tea was another product line, and C.P. argued that caffeinated workers would be more productive—and to kill a plan for a rooftop neon sign that would cost $4,000 a year to light. But the larger goal was to stop McCormick from growing stale, like forgotten sage, an implicit criticism of his uncle, who C.P. felt never understood the company’s full potential. He decried “deadheads” and “yes men” who “degenerate into a fixed, self-perpetuating group.”

    Subsequent CEOs, including C.P.’s son Buzz, tried to carry this structure forward, with varying degrees of success. A 1990 Fortune story noted that a turnaround at the company from the preceding decade was primarily because of Buzz “freshening the look of its products by replacing the familiar red and white tins with clear plastic bottles”—like the ones consumers recognize today. It was also the result of a pricing war with a now-vanquished Australian rival—and an unlawful pricing scheme in which McCormick allegedly offered grocery chains big discounts in exchange for as much as 90% of the spice-aisle shelf space. (The company agreed to settle antitrust charges brought by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in 2000 without admitting wrongdoing.)

    Kurzius gives out C.P.’s book to new board members, keeps the old man’s top hat on display, and is still friends with 93-year-old Buzz. He joined McCormick through its 2003 acquisition of Zatarain’s, maker of Cajun seasonings and microwaveable gumbo, where he was CEO. A marketing veteran of Quaker Oats and Uncle Ben’s, he then rose through McCormick’s executive ranks, becoming chief operating officer in 2015. With a Vincent Price mustache and buttoned-up manner, the 63-year-old often wears a blank expression in meetings that can make employees second-guess themselves. “He takes copious notes in this monster book and writes in 0.01 font, so even if you’re sitting beside him, it’s impossible to read,” says Angela Francolini, the former head of consumer strategy. “I remember thinking, ‘What are you writing?!’ ” (A corporate spokesperson responds: The notebook “is not huge. In fact, it’s pretty small.”)

    Kurzius disliked it when McCormick was referred to as a mature business dependent on its legacy red-capped portfolio. The company had a history of expanding through mergers, including the 1990 purchase of Baltimore’s beloved Old Bay seafood seasoning and the $604 million deal to acquire rival Lawry’s in 2008. But Kurzius didn’t think the moves were bold enough. A shareholder presentation he co-authored in 2010 called for McCormick to go after more emerging markets and “deliver fewer, bigger” new products.

    “There’s a company out there that would love to have a Doritos knockoff, right? Where do those flavors come from? Don’t know. Can’t say”
    Buying Frank’s hot sauce and French’s mustard, the latter then a declining brand, from Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc was one of Kurzius’s first big moves after taking over the top job. “We had looked at some larger acquisitions over the years but never pulled the trigger,” he says.

    McCormick’s analysts saw that French’s still had life and that Frank’s could help the company capitalize on millennial love for low-calorie heat. Noah Chaimberg, founding hot sauce sommelier of the retailer Heatonist, notes that the food trend is as much about culture as flavor. Mexican cuisine had exploded in popularity, and there’s an audience of aspiring chili sommeliers in the millions who tune into Hot Ones, a YouTube show where guests answer questions over scorching wings. But as competing bids drove the price for the two brands above $3 billion, Vernon, the board member, says there was “bedwetting” among his fellow directors. At one point, he asked Kurzius whether he was getting in over his head. Kurzius vowed “to win this,” Vernon recalls, and promised to deliver a return on the investment faster than the skeptics thought feasible. The deal closed in August 2017.

    The following year, consumer store sales of French’s dropped 3.1%, slightly smaller than the previous year’s decrease. Sales rose in 2019, and French’s stayed in its dominant position, with 12% of the $2 billion global mustard market, according to Euromonitor. This was a consequence, Kurzius says, of McCormick’s distribution muscle, defending French’s from “being pushed around the shelf” by mustards sold by Heinz and Hellmann’s. Retail consumption of Frank’s, meanwhile, grew almost 15% that year.

    McCormick’s might has helped Cholula become the No. 2 player in the U.S. even as the company has sought to make the division more profitable. Two people familiar with the transition say that McCormick supply managers showed up at Cholula’s factory in Jalisco, Mexico, to hunt for cost savings. Analysts also see huge potential in boosting single-packet servings, known as “sachets,” which are sold in bulk and, of course, include a picture of the bottle’s wood cap.

    Still, McCormick has a way to go before it can make hot sauce as big as ketchup. The latter market is nearly $2 billion larger worldwide, according to Euromonitor. Whereas Heinz faces relatively little competition for its flagship product, the hot sauce business is full of small-batch sellers, private labels marketed by grocery stores, and family-led brands with loyal followings such as McIlhenny’s Tabasco, Huy Fong sriracha, Baumer’s Crystal, and Tapatío, all of which seem to have the same objective as McCormick. “We want to be the Heinz ketchup of the hot sauce world,” says Tapatío’s Saavedra Jr.


    The French’s factory in Springfield, Mo. Photographer: Chris Gunn for Bloomberg Business-week
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    Continued from previous post


    Checking the mustard for viscosity. Photographer: Chris Gunn for Bloomberg Businessweek
    Photographer: Chris Gunn for Bloomberg Businessweek

    As the condiment arms race plays out, McCormick may find nearer-term success in its food-science division. It employs more than 500 people in research and development, including engineers who’ve created products over the years for Yum! Brands Inc. and McDonald’s Corp.—though it’s all very hush-hush, likely because of nondisclosure agreements. When Chief Science Officer Brian Farkas is asked to explain the secrecy, he gives a rambling, cryptic nonanswer that makes it sound as if snack espionage is a constant threat. “There’s a company out there that would love to have a Doritos knockoff, right? Where do those flavors come from? Don’t know. Can’t say,” he says.

    A former longtime McCormick scientist says it’s more about branding than anything else. McCormick’s clients want their customers to believe they pioneer their own goods, as opposed to outsourcing deliciousness to third-party chemists. “Maybe 20 years ago, we had 100 cherry flavors, and now we have a library of 100,000 cherry flavors,” this person says of the broader industry. With the acquisition of FONA, Kurzius is pushing into developing more flavors for beverages, confections, and even health products (think of the tastes in supplements like Flintstones Vitamins).

    McCormick also sometimes does cross-promotions with outside brands. Frank’s and Cholula are now featured on menus at fast-food chains Subway and Chopt. And grocery stores sell Stubb’s frozen pulled pork, Old Bay potato chips and popcorn, and French’s-flavored craft beer. “Some people thought it sounded gross, but it was a pretty big hit,” says Jill Pratt, who oversees McCormick’s marketing in the Americas.

    In other ways, the brand extensions help McCormick diversify from those dated red caps. As in its partnerships with big food brands, a bottle of Cholula doesn’t even mention McCormick. The sauce’s packaging only says that it’s imported from Mexico, as if it were still a family shop, which it hasn’t been for many years. (Prior to McCormick and L Catterton, Jose Cuervo oversaw Cholula.) Consumers “don’t have to know French’s and Frank’s and Cholula come from McCormick,” Kurzius says. “Now, I’d love for investors to know, but for consumers what matters is the loyalty.” It’s the same reason in recent years that General Mills, Hershey, and Unilever have respectively acquired Annie’s (organic packaged foods), SkinnyPop (healthy popcorn), and Sir Kensington’s (fancy ketchup and mayo). The acquisitions are all designed to appeal to younger consumers who are moving away from the processed foods churned out by conglomerates.

    Still, the big brands have plenty of firepower. At the Walmart near McCormick’s headquarters, Heinz is selling blends such as Kranch, Ketchili, Mayochup, Honeyracha, and Tarchup. Depending on your perspective, the danger or promise is that McCormick might follow suit and die-hard Cholula stans will be confronted with Frenlula spicy mustard or StubbsBay barbecue sauce. “The temptation of marketing teams worldwide is to jump into having a Taco Bell Special Edition Cholula chimichanga,” says Sharif Rod, the former Latin America exporter of Cholula.

    Brand dilution. Point taken. On the other hand, a Taco Bell meal smothered with delicious Cholula hot sauce could be, as C.P. McCormick would say, atomic.

    (Updates to reflect McCormick’s latest earnings report in eighth paragraph.)
    ****. I never knew...
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •