With a major lawsuit in the works, T.W. Garner Foods is selling Texas Pete hot sauce bottles by the dozens.
The company was slapped with a class action suit alegging false advertising on Sept. 12. According to Deseret News, LA resident Philip White took action after he purchased a bottle because he believed it was made in the Lone Star state. But the condiment is actually made in North Carolina.
“We are aware of the current lawsuit that has been filed against our company regarding the Texas Pete® brand name,” the company said in a release. “We are currently investigating these assertions with our legal counsel to find the clearest and most effective way to respond.”
News of the suit first broke in NC on Oct. 6. And it made it to national news outlets shortly after. The story immediately proved that no press is bad press.
Within four days of the first report, demand for Texas Pete hot sauce shot up by 71% compared to overall 2022 sales. And compared to the previous week, it was up by 76%, according to Pattern.
Claimant Believes Texas Pete Hot Sauce Steals Bussines From Authentic Brands
The reason or reasons why the condiment is selling so well isn’t clear. People may be worried that the case could decrease supply in the near future, and they want to make sure that they don’t have to live without it. Or, the name showing up in headlines may have been subtle advertising.
It’s also possible that some people are buying the product as a show of support. While the name suggests that the hot sauce is made in Texas, neither the bottle nor the company actually claims it is. In fact, the company’s online story begins by telling readers that the product is made in North Carolina. And it actually goes on to address the situation.
“So how is it that a tasty red pepper sauce made in North Carolina happens to be named ‘Texas Pete’ anyway?” it opens before diving into a backstory that claims the flavor is reminiscent of Texas cuisine.
Nonetheless, White claims the marketing tricked him into spending $3 for a bottle. And if he had known the hot sauce was made in North Carolina, he would have bought a different brand that was legitimately Texas-made. Or, he wouldn’t have paid less for a clearly marked knockoff.
The claimant believes that the misleading name steals business from smaller, authentic Texas brands. And he’s suing on behalf of all U.S. customers who have purchased the product under false pretenses.
T.W. Garner Food Co. has until Nov. 10 to respond to the suit.