Remember that pink sauce that went viral on TikTok last summer? Now you can buy it at Walmart.
TikTok creator Chef Pii first unveiled the Pepto Bismol-colored dipping sauce on the social media network last June. As interest bubbled up, sales grew and so did some criticism.
Consumers had questions about information on the nutritional label – number of servings and whether milk was an ingredient – and the price ($20 at the time). So, Chef Pii paused production and reached a deal with Dave’s Gourmet, which makes hot sauces and pasta sauces. Walmart will be the exclusive retailer for Pink Sauce until July 2023.
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What is pink sauce?
It’s a bright bubble gum-hued condiment that can be used on many foods. Chef Pii posted videos on TikTok last summer dousing all kinds of dishes with the sauce including chicken, tacos, gyros and more. Then, the sauce went viral on Twitter and Instagram, too. The Miami-based private chef’s real name is Veronica Shaw, according to the Los Angeles Times. (Her nickname as a kid was “Pink,” so she shortened that to “Pii” for her social media moniker.)
In a June 19 video, she said she “wanted to come up with like this crazy innovative off the wall sauce” with a natural pink color.
What is in pink sauce?
Here are some of the ingredients, according to the Dave’s Gourmet Specialty Food site, where you can order Pink Sauce for $9.99 per 13-ounce bottle:
- Dragon Fruit Puree
- Canola Oil
- Coconut Cream
- Distilled White Vinegar
- Ranch Flavor (Maltodextrin, Onion Powder, Natural Flavors, Modified Food Starch)
Originally, there were concerns that milk was an ingredient, which could spoil and make the sauce unsafe. There is no dairy in the sauce, which is also gluten-free and vegan, according to the website.
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What does pink sauce taste like?
Last summer, several videos showed people describing it as tasting similar to ranch dressing. When Marie Wright, chief global flavorist at Archer Daniels Midland Co., recreated the sauce for the PopSugar website, she described it as “a tangy, slightly sweet twist on ranch.”
When plans to produce the sauce were announced in August, Dave’s Gourmet president David Neuman said the company’s R&D staff “was able to re-formulate the sauce to match Chef Pii’s exact color and flavor profile for the product and at the same time change some of the ingredients to make the sauce less complicated, dairy-free, and clean of any preservatives, artificial colors or flavors.”
What’s the deal with the FDA and pink sauce?
Last summer, some consumers complained about some bottles leaking. And some were concerned when Pii was asked during an Instagram Live whether the sauce was “FDA approved.” She responded, “What do you mean, ‘FDA approved’? I don’t sell medical products,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
Subsequently, she told The Washington Post she changed shipping companies and changed the product label to recommend refrigeration. She also said the production facility where her sauce was made was certified by the Food and Drug Administration.
Dave’s Gourmet, which now produces Pink Sauce, has been in operation since 1993 and makes various sauces including Dave’s Insanity Sauce.
What are people saying about pink sauce being in Walmart?
While some people on Twitter were surprised the product landed in Walmart, many were happy for Chef Pii. “I do remember her getting a lot of hate/negativity and I’m happy she didn’t allow that to stop her!” one person on Twitter said.
Another person noted that “clearly she did what needed to be done to get her product on that shelf.”
Contributing: Brett Molina
Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @mikesnider.