So, some asshole is suing Texas Pete because their hot sauce is not made in Texas.
It’s true. According to the lawsuit, California man Phillip White allegedly bought a $3 bottle of Texas Pete at a store in Los Angeles in September 2021. Upon discovering that the sauce, which clearly says “Texas” on the bottle, was made in North Carolina, which it also says on the bottle, White “suffered injury” and “lost money,” and is seeking — am I reading this right? — an amount “exceeding $5,000,000,” which he is willing to share with everyone who joins the class-action suit… after the lawyers take their cut, of course.
He also wants Texas Pete to stop using the name Texas Pete.
The lawsuit accuses false advertising, unfair use of a geographic descriptor, violation of personal rights and a nasty assessment of Garner Foods’ practices.
From page 34, lines 8-11: “Defendant’s misconduct is oppressive as, at all relevant times, said conduct was so vile, base, and/or contemptible that reasonable people would look down upon it and/or otherwise would despise such corporate misconduct.”
And I don’t know what to do with this, except to say that if the guy had a problem with his hot sauce, he should have brought it back to the store and gotten his $3 back. But I doubt he had a problem with it because Texas Pete hot sauce is delicious, if a little low on the Scoville scale.
I also wonder if a class-action lawsuit is the proper remedy for one California man’s ignorance.
I will admit that I was mildly shocked when, as a young food writer who had just moved to North Carolina, I discovered that Texas Pete hot sauce was made in Winston-Salem.
“Huh,” I think I said.
Then, like just about every other food writer in the state, I wrote a long-ish feature about the sauce, the family-owned parent company TW Garner Foods and its long history in the Camel City that goes back almost 100 years. The piece has since been scrubbed from the internet, which is too bad, because had White read my piece, he would have known where Texas Pete comes from.
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