The viral Pink Sauce that had TikTok and the government in a frenzy is now available nationwide for a limited time only at select Walmart locations.
From now through July, anyone interested in tasting the sweet and sour sauce can experience the hype themselves. Veronica Shaw, known as Chef Pii, created the now-famous sauce and celebrated the surreal moment on her Instagram.
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Blavity reported the Miami chef went viral and made headlines last summer following complaints and concerns from people who purchased the questionable sauce, stating that it had a weird smell, changed colors and ingredients were misspelled on the label. In addition, the product’s delivery took longer than expected, and the most alarming thing was that it needed to be FDA-approved.
“I wanted a unique sauce. I wanted something that tasted like nothing else, but also to have a natural bright color, and I was able to accomplish that. And, you know, I believe that’s why the world became so curious about the product,” Shaw said in a Los Angeles Times interview.
Although Shaw received significant backlash over selling her product without following proper protocol, David Neuman, the president and CEO of hot sauce company Dave’s Gourmet, decided to mentor the Miami chef. He shared that this was an opportunity to refresh his sauce brand and support a fellow entrepreneur tapping into a new business venture.
“It’s a Willy Wonka-meets-Cinderella type of story. You know, mad scientist with an idea figures out how to get that product made and sold nationally and comes out smelling like a rose even though she got really beat up by people by not being able to fill the orders or not having the knowledge to make the product commercially,” Neuman said, according to the Times.
Shaw began collaborating with Walmart last summer to bring consumers a new FDA-approved version of the product. For the 29-year-old to agree to the partnership, she had two requirements: the color must be naturally pink, and the sauce has to have the same great taste it had before.
To ensure the product wasn’t a health hazard and to acquire FDA approval, Dave’s Gourmet assisted in updating the recipe and packaging. As a result, the formula includes the same pitaya (dragon fruit) base with coconut cream, canola oil, onion powder, ranch flavoring, and the addition of shelf-stable ingredients. The product is vegan and gluten-free, and, according to Neuman, it now has a shelf life of at least 18 months.
According to the Times, the company shared that the mistakes at the beginning of Pii’s journey were due to a lack of knowledge in food production. However, now having that insight into the production and distribution side of the business, she has a bright future ahead of her in the food industry.