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Reasons to Choose Craft Over Mass-Produced Hot Sauce

  • 5 min read

The Hot Sauce industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, and there are a lot of different hot sauce options out there. When I was younger I would find myself buying a bottle of Franks Red Hot or Tabasco to put on my meals, but then..... I discovered craft small batch hot sauces and sooo much more flavor!!

Each year craft hot sauces are chipping away at the market share of the largest and most established hot sauce companies. Here are some reasons to look local and small batch instead of grabbing the more traditional sauces.

 Lack of artificial additives and huge amounts of sodium and sugar

 If you look at your average bottle of hot sauce in the grocery store, chances are the brand manufacturers are large companies and suppliers. In looking at the ingredients of these larger hot sauce companies, you will most likely see that these bottles are loaded with sodium and sugar, and that the sauces include xantham gum. Xantham gum is a food additive that is made by fermenting corn sugar with a bacteria, xanthomonas campestris. It is used to add thickness to sauces like hot sauce, ketchup, or salad dressing. While there are no studies that confirm that Xantham gum is unsafe, most industrial companies use the additive to cut down on costs and to make the sauces look good on shelves. The wide majority of hot sauces that have shared their story on our website and are on our online shop are all natural and don't use any preservatives.

  • Buying Craft Hot Sauces Supports Local Businesses

 Small businesses are the backbone of the economic world and we all should support them. You can read many interesting stories about these local businesses on our Craft Hot Sauce stories section. All these companies have different stories on how they started, but what ties them all together is that they are all passionate about creating really good hot sauce and growing their business locally. These companies don't have the resources to build production and distribution systems similar to larger companies such as McIlhenny Company (Tabasco) or Huy Fong Foods (Sriracha). However, by supporting and buying their craft hot sauces they also buy produce and peppers from local farmers and support other local businesses in their area.

Helps Increase Awareness On The Hot Sauce Renaissance Happening Right Now

In 2012 the Ibis World Report listed the Hot Sauce industry as the 8th Fastest Growing Industry in the United States, and since then the growth has only continued. Every year hot sauce sales increase higher into the billions, and specialty hot sauces are chipping away on the same market leaders. Craft hot sauce owners I speak with are talking about how hot sauce awareness is increasing in their areas, but each year there is more competition with more companies and better sauces. This competition creates great new sauces that could become market leaders in the near future.

Small batch companies bring more interesting hot sauces to market

As a craft hot sauce company, you don't have to make a hot sauce that is generic or a safe option for all hot sauce lovers. Specialty hot sauce companies can specialize in certain peppers like the Datil Pepper, orHottt Ass Chillis from New Zealand who grow over 200 different types of chillis making some really interesting combinations. Craft Hot Sauce makers can focus on pairing their hot sauces with specific foods to make creative and delicious options.

Small batch hot sauce simply tastes better

 Craft Hot Sauce companies use more food ingredients in making their sauces than larger hot sauce companies. If you look at Frank Red's Hot ingredients they list Aged Red Cayenne peppers, vinegar, water, salt, and garlic powder. If you look at one of our partners such as Crazy Bastard Sauce, their Green Label ingredients include Red Onion, Jalapeño, Hungarian Wax Pepper, White Wine Vinegar, Dates, Cayenne Pepper, Poblano Chili, Lime, Garlic, Coriander, Olive Oil, Salt. Which one sounds better?

There are more choices with craft hot sauce

Most of the really popular hot sauces in most retail stores have one popular hot sauce, and maybe one or two other sauces that will be on the shelf. Out of CHS’s first 20 craft hot sauce profiles, the average number of hot sauces each company makes and sells is over 7. Pika Pika hot sauce of Berlin brought up the average with their 18 different sauces, but craft hot sauce companies are always looking to create new sauces.

Small batch and craft hot sauce owners are awesome interesting people! 

I have meet and spoken with hundreds of hot sauce makers through our podcast and website. If I could summarize three similar traits among all these hot sauce entrepreneurs, it would be that they are they would be passionate, talented, and unique. They make really good hot sauce, enjoy doing what they are doing and enjoy connecting with their customers and followers. I'd recommend going to your local farmers market or trying to find some hot sauce companies in your area.

When you use craft hot sauces you learn more about hot sauce

I personally like to know what I'm eating and I especially like to know what goes into my hot sauce. Craft Hot Sauce companies usually are clear with what types of chili peppers are in their hot sauces. Popular chilli peppers in many hot sauces include Habaneros, Jalapeños, Scotch Bonnet, Cayenne, Serrano, Carolina Reaper, and Ghost Chili. Once you try some of these sauces you’ll begin to find out what types of chilis are your favorite and the taste and heat that come with them. You will learn a ton about chili peppers which can spice up your cooking too.

It’s cool to be the hot sauce connoisseur

 If you’re the craft hot sauce nut, you’re probably pretty interesting! You’re also one of Craft Hot Sauce’s disciples! In my work on, I am sent many hot sauce samples, and I taste all of them. Surely I won’t be consuming over 4 liters of hot sauces over the next 6 months. So whenever I go to a barbecue I bring specialty hot sauces, and I also bring some to leave at our kitchen at my workplace. When people try a craft hot sauce for the first time, they say it’s the best hot sauce they’ve ever had. When you share your craft hot sauce with others, you can easily turn people into chile-heads!

Many Hot Sauce companies support other wonderful mission driven organizations

Craft Hot Sauce companies do really cool things to support great causes. Some of these examples our profiled companies have done, include donating their profits to micro-financing in Africa, creating a sustainable food organization, and giving away hot sauces to restaurants that use all local grown food. These companies are invested in making great food, supporting important causes, and creating a closer community, so be sure to support them too!

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