The Texas Pete Hot Sauce Lawsuit Revealed From Texas to North Carolina

You might be surprised to learn that a hot sauce called “Texas Pete” isn’t actually from Texas at all. When Phillip White tasted’ hot sauce, he imagined the bold flavors of the Lone Star State. However, he was misled when he realized it was manufactured in North Carolina.

This fact sparked a lawsuit that has been making headlines. Although the Texas Pete hot sauce lawsuit might seem silly at first glance. Still, it raises important questions about how much companies should be able to emphasize geographic branding. Let us solve the riddle while reading this article.

Texas Pete Lawsuit

First of all, we need to know when Texas Pete Hot Sauce was created. The name “Texas Pete Hot Sauce” originated during the Great Depression, as stated on the Texas Pete website. Harold Garner and his wife created it for their BBQ restaurant in 1929.

The name combined “Texas” and “Pete,” a nickname for their son Harold. It was also reported that Sam Garner and his three sons, Thad, Ralph, and Harold, wanted to create a brand name for their new sauce.

Philip White, a resident of California, filed a class action lawsuit against T.W. Garner Food Co. It is a manufacturing company based in North Carolina. According to the complaint, White purchased the bottle of hot sauce in September 2021.

Hereafter, the lawsuit was brought to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on 12 September 2022. The company was accused of misleading consumers by branding its hot sauce as a product from Texas.

The lawsuit emphasized the cultural significance of geographic branding in the U.S. It compared this to other regional food disputes, such as debates over the best pizza. The suit stated that “the defendant has unfairly gained a top spot in the $3 billion hot sauce market by making a false claim.”

Furthermore, it was claimed that their Texas Pete hot sauce products were made in Texas, but in reality, they were not. This misinformation affected honest competitors and misled consumers seeking authentic Texas hot sauce..

The Texas Pete lawsuit continued, “The defendant knowingly took advantage of the consumer’s desire to experience the culture and authentic cuisine of a proud American state. In addition, the defendant exploited this demand through misleading marketing and labeling.”

Texas Pete Hot Sauce Lawsuit

Allegations and Claims

White claimed that T.W. Garner involved in the following wrong activities:

  • Engaged in unfair competition.
  • Practiced false advertising.
  • Violated a California consumer statute.
  • Breached warranty.
  • Unjustly enriched themselves.

Furthermore, the company uses Texas-related imagery and branding. This misleads consumers into believing the product is manufactured in Texas. In fact, it is produced in North Carolina. The product uses Louisiana-style ingredients.

The lawsuit highlighted the following issues:

  • The importance of geographic origin in product branding.
  • The use of Texan symbols such as the lone star and a ‘lassoing’ cowboy on the packaging.
  • Misleading branding helped T.W. Garner achieved a dominant market position in the hot sauce industry.

White and his lawyers included an article about Texas Pete’s East Coast origins in their list. They also provided evidence in the form of a TikTok from @ncmuseumhistory, which depicted a North Carolinian legend.

Company Response

Throughout the litigation, the 100-year-old family-run business has denied White’s allegations. Garner Riddle, stated, “We at TW Garner Food Co. are delighted with this result.”

She further stated, “Since the case was filed, we have stayed firm in our position that our product labels and trademark are truthful and not misleading in any way, and that the lawsuit had no basis.”

In addition, Garner confirmed the case and said that they are reviewing the allegations with their legal counsel. The company’s response to the case was expected in November 2022. Caroline Mankey, a lawyer for TW Garner Food Co., stated:

“The corporation has long been proud of and made no secret about its North Carolina history.”

Texas Pete Hot Sauce Lawsuit

Case Dismissal

Finally, Phillip White moved to dismiss the case on 28 September 2023. Throughout the lawsuit, T.W. Garner Food Co. maintained that their product labels were truthful. Specifically, the back of the Texas Pete bottle states that it is made in North Carolina.

Therefore, the company argued that this fact should negate any claims of deception. Ann Garner Riddle expressed satisfaction with the dismissal. Furthermore, she reaffirmed that the company has always been transparent about its North Carolina roots.

Read also: The Medly Pharmacy Lawsuit

Final Thoughts

Eventually, Texas Pete’s North Carolina roots won’t be an issue for the famous hot sauce brand. The case highlighted how much people worry about the origins of food. The dismissal of the claim was a victory for Texas Pete. In fact, this was uplifting news for the organization.

This aspect of food appreciation was revealed during the legal proceedings. As the food business grows worldwide, incidents like these will become more common. Therefore, the Texas Pete story offered an interesting investigation into the future of food branding and advertising.

Leave a Comment