Texas Pete hot sauce isn’t as Texas as one Los Angeles man thought, according to a class-action lawsuit.
Los Angeles resident Philip White filed a lawsuit in September in California Central District Court against the hot sauce’s producers, North Carolina-based T.W. Garner Food Co., alleging false advertising after he believed the brand was “a Texas product,”.
White bought a bottle of the hot sauce — which has a label featuring a white star (like the Texas flag) and an all-red cartoon cowboy — and “relied upon the language and images on the front label” before his purchase, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit alleges the man believed the label’s look made it appear to be “distinctly Texan.” However, the hot sauce originated at a Winston-Salem barbecue restaurant in 1929.
WGHP-TV reported that the lawsuit wants the hot sauce brand, which has until Nov. 10 to respond to the complaint, to “change its name and brand and to pay up.”
“There is surprisingly nothing Texas about them,” the complaint claims.
Texas Pete hot sauce, a condiment introduced by Sam Garner, is not directly tied to the Lone Star State but rather a result of Garner and his sons attempting to concoct a name for their sauce at their barbecue restaurant, according to the brand’s website.
A marketing adviser floated the idea for the name “Mexican Joe” hot sauce “to connote the piquant flavor reminiscent of the favorite foods of our neighbors to the south,” the brand’s site says.
Garner, however, allegedly wasn’t feeling the name.
“Nope, it’s got to have an American name!” the website claims Garner said.
The Texas Pete name was a combination of the Lone Star State’s name along with “Pete,” a nickname for Garner’s son Harold, according to the website.
The complaint alleges Texas Pete, a Louisiana-style hot sauce, is a product of ingredients from “sources outside of Texas” and the hot sauce producer “admits that Texas’s reputation was one they were trying to mimic and capitalize on.”
The hot sauce brand did not immediately respond to a HuffPost request for comment.
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