How Sriracha hot sauce get famous in US food Market

Origin of Sriracha hot sauce

Sriracha , There is 2 different origin about Sriracha hot sauce based on Wikipedia. One report has it that the sauce was first produced by a Thai woman named Thanom Chakkapak in the town of Si Racha (or Sri Racha). According to the Thai “Chomrom Rak Si Racha” (The Si Racha Lovers’ Association), the sauce was first made in Si Racha by Burmese sawmill workers.according to the Thai “Chomrom Rak Si Racha” (The Si Racha Lovers’ Association) the sauce was first made in Si Racha by Burmese sawmill workers.

Another story of origine is he sauce originated in the town of Sri Racha (Sri Racha, Sriracha), Thailand in the early 1930s by Madam La Orr Suwanprasop.La Orr was born and raised in Sri Racha and eventually met her husband who was from Bangkok. Upon getting married she and her husband moved to Bangkok where she would continually make batches of the famous chili sauce for her friends. Her friends would encourage her to make the sauce for sale which ultimately motivated her to start her sriracha sauce business.after discussion with a monk, La Orr was given the blessing to start the sriracha chili sauce business. The monk had given her the idea to name the sauce “sriracha sauce”, after her hometown. By 1932, Madam La Orr Suwanprasop began producing and selling her sauce in Bangkok.

Lakut Suwanprasop, son of Madam La Orr Suwanprasop and proud owner of Gold Medal Sriracha Sauce.
(Picture by Irene Wong )

And In US, The most famous Sriracha sauce “ Huy Fong Foods Sriracha”

Hot sauce creator, David Tran, began his chili making mastery in 1975 in Vietnam. During his humble beginnings, the unsurpassable genius produced his first hot sauce called Pepper Sa-te. He filled his Sa-te sauce in recycled glass baby food jars that then was sold and delivered by family members via bicycle. In 1979, his astounding voyage began by departing communist Vietnam on a Taiwanese freighter that was registered in Panama, named Huey Fong. Later that name became the inspiration namesake of his beloved company, Huy Fong Foods.

After the United States accepted Tran as a refugee when no other countries would, he started right away doing what he did best — making hot sauce. So in 1980, he started his chili legacy in a 5,000 sq foot building nestled near Chinatown in Los Angeles. His creations included his Pepper Sa-te Sauce, Sambal Oelek, Chili Garlic, Sambal Badjak and Sriracha Hot Sauce.

First delivery van of huy fong food

How can Huy Fong Foods Sriracha get its the popularity

Nowadays, it spread out to the whole mainstream market and almost everyone knows about this sauce . I think there are 3 stages to spread out this Hot sauce.

1st stage is start the business and entering to the ethnic market.

2 Stage is  Entering to the US Mainstream market blessing with David Chang (Momofuku).

In 2003 this sauce introduced to some mainstream retail adopts sriracha before mainstream restaurants. And 2004 Key influencers adopted, featured at Momofuku’s Noodle Bar which operate by on of the powerful influencer in the food industry David Chang. Also Casual Dining features on menus, led by Gordon Biersch as well. And in 2005 Sriracha added to menus of smaller QSR chains.

3rd Stage  Spread out widely to the public and mainstream market and create the new project with other food companies.  

In 2012,  Pei Wei adds sriracha to menu2 sriracha cookbooks published and in 2013, Huy fong reached almost 60 Mil$ and growth almost 20% every year. And as you know you can buy this red sauce in almost anywhere like Grocery chain and local restaurants.

There is an interesting article about Sriracha. Mike Newman of cool material tried 9 different kinds of Sriracha and he picked the original “Huy Fong Foods Sriracha” as a no.1 taste. He said “ We fully planned on crowning a new sriracha champion and riding off into the sunset as champions of flavor discovery. We were gravely mistaken. When we finished the blind tasting and looked at our pick for the tastiest, we found a familiar friend. Maybe we’re just so used to it or maybe it really is just that good, but there’s a beautiful showcase of peppers going on here with flavors that don’t get lost in the heat. ”

Beyond the sauce, become a Brand

They are also actively working with other food companies such as jack Links or Burger King to create the new product and menus with their famous “Sriracha” Flavor. So I can say this flavor is spread out not only to the sauce market but also to all over the food market.

Jack Links Sriracha beef jerky
Burger king’s Sriracha cheese burger

Also, these days Huy Fong Foods use their ” Sriracha ” as a brand and also a symbol of “Spicy” they launched new product like “Sriracha almond” or “Shriracha Ketshup”. some clothing company even use their brand as a logo for T-shirts.

Sriracha made a hug success after “Tabasco” dominate the hot sauce market. There was a clear reason, it has a great kick and flavor, also it has a great story. It’s really curious who can be the next King of hot sauce after “Sriracha”.

1 thought on “How Sriracha hot sauce get famous in US food Market”

  1. Maybe next Sriracha will be Louisiana hot sauce or Go chu jang sauce in Korea. I can see those sauces a lot these days.

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