Texas has a well-deserved reputation for hot sauces, but one famous brand is made in North Carolina.
LOS ANGELES — Texas Pete hot sauce isn’t made in Texas — and a California man is suing it.
When Phillip White bought a $3 bottle of the famous sauce last year, he thought it was made in Texas, according to a lawsuit filed Sept. 12 in federal court in Los Angeles. Multiple outlets cited the complaint, and a copy was posted online by the nonprofit Truth in Advertising.
The class action lawsuit, filed on White’s behalf by the Clarkson law firm, alleges that the creators of Texas Pete “knowingly and intentionally (capitalize) on consumers’ desire to participate in the culture and authentic cuisine of one of the proudest states in America. by “falsified marketing and labeling”.
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He alleges that White would not have bought the product, or at least paid that much, had he known it was not made in Texas.
Why is Texas Pete Hot Sauce made in North Carolina?
Texas Pete has long been made in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the company’s website says.
Texas Pete’s owning company, TW Garner Food Co., states on the website that the Garner family decided on the name in 1929. A marketing consultant suggested “Mexican Joe,” but founder Sam Garner wanted “an American name “.
“Sam suggested they cross the border into Texas, which was also famous for its spicy food,” the website says. “Then he glanced at his son Harold, whose nickname was ‘Pete’ and the cowboy Texas Pete was born.”
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The lawsuit also points to the website, claiming that the company “willingly admits to having no connection with Texas, when it decidedly does not discuss it on the products or elsewhere at the point of purchase.”
The hot sauce’s back label says it’s made in North Carolina, but the lawsuit claims customers are unlikely to check – instead focusing on Texas images like the ‘lone star’ above the name of the cowboy brand and mascot. He also alleges that the company’s brand image is hurting smaller competitors in Texas.
“We are aware of the ongoing lawsuit that has been filed against our company regarding the Texas Pete® brand name,” a spokesperson for the hot sauce makers said in response to an email request for comment. “We are currently investigating these claims with our legal counsel to find the clearest and most effective way to respond.”