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Pink Sauce Is Now Sold in Walmart With New Shelf-Safe Recipe

TikTok's Infamous Pink Sauce Is Now Available at Walmart

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The mystery condiment invented by TikTok creator Chef Pii (@chef.pii), once sent ripples of intrigue, disgust, and digestive problems across the internet. But despite the initial mixed reactions, Pink Sauce is now officially being sold in Walmart.

In August 2022, the Los Angeles Times reported that an established food company was partnering with Pii to bring a shelf-stable version to consumers, with production starting in late September.

In a press release, David Neuman, president of Dave's Gourmet, confirmed this and said that it took less than a week for the research and development team to reformulate the sauce. According to Neuman, the new sauce would "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."

Prior to establishing the partnership with Dave's Gourmet, Pink Sauce was under scrutiny after customers received bottles with nutrition labels that contained misspelled words (for example, "vinegar" spelled "vinger") and incorrect measurements, while other bottles appeared to be rotten upon arrival. But Chef Pii wasn't bothered by the negative attention. "I'm like, this is the Madonna. This is the Beyoncé of those sauces," she told NBC News.

It looks like Chef Pii's confidence and loyalty to her creation has paid off. After a brief pause in production, Pink Sauce is now available at 4,300 Walmart locations, thanks in part to Dave's Gourmet. It costs about $8.

But what is it that made Pink Sauce such a TikTok sensation? Here's everything you need to know about Pink Sauce, how it came to be, and what's changed about the sauce.

What Is Pink Sauce, Exactly?

Pink Sauce is a condiment created by Chef Pii (real name Veronica Shaw) in June 2021. It started gaining attention on TikTok and has since become a sort of internet celebrity. "The whole reason why the Pink Sauce was created was to bring some excitement to food," Chef Pii said on her Instagram.

The original formulation was shared on the Pink Sauce website listing the ingredients as water, sunflower-seed oil, raw honey, distilled "vinger", garlic, pitaya (dragonfruit), pink Himalayan sea salt, and less than two percent of dried spices ("chilli"), lemon juice, milk, and citric acid. However, since partnering with Dave's Gourmet products, the ingredients have been changed to make "the sauce less complicated, dairy-free, and clean of any preservatives, artificial colors or flavors," according to the company's press release.

How Has the Pink Sauce Recipe Changed?

When Pink Sauce first came out, customers claimed on social media that the original product sold directly from the website was not packed with dry ice or refrigerated in order to keep the product cool during transport. With record-breaking temperatures across the country last year, it was super risky to experiment with a nonrefrigerated dairy product with no known preservatives.

Some TikTok creators, such as @seansvv, even posted entire video series dedicated to investigating the product when it was still being run out of Pii's home in Miami. The 29-year-old Floridian didn't completely ignore her critics. Chef Pii posted a TikTok that has since been taken down with the caption, "WE ARE FIXING THE ISSUES." She started the video with an apology for the allegations that the nutritional label was incorrect in numerous places. "This is a small business that is moving really fast," Chef Pii said in the video. "I'm listening to ya'll, I hear ya'll." But commenters were quick to remind the entrepreneur that food is "not something that can be trial/error."

Since receiving this backlash, Chef Pii has worked with Dave's Gourmet to create the new and improved product now sold at Walmart. According to Walmart, the new Pink Sauce ingredients list includes dragon-fruit purée, canola oil, coconut cream, water, sugar, distilled white vinegar, garlic, maltodextrin (an additive used to thicken and preserve foods), ranch flavor, salt, and spices. It also contains 0.5 percent or less of xanthan gum (a common food additive often used as a thickener or stabilizer) and is colored with titanium dioxide (a mineral commonly used to brighten and enhance food color). The product is sold in a glass bottle now, is classified as vegan and gluten-free, and has a shelf life of at least 18 months, Neuman told the LA Times.

Is It Ever Safe to Buy Food From the Internet?

It can be. Chef Pii sold Pink Sauce out of her place in Miami, according to NBC News, where laws on "cottage foods" let an individual sell specific groups of food that "present a low risk of foodborne illness" out of unlicensed home kitchens (as long as their gross sales don't exceed $250,000 annually), according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Foods that fall under this umbrella include baked goods, candies, honey, jams and jellies, fruit pies and dried fruits, dry herbs and seasonings, homemade pasta, cereals and granola, coated or uncoated nuts, vinegar and flavored vinegar, and popcorn and popcorn balls. These items can be sold on websites, by mail order, and in person.

However, it's made clear that food must be properly packaged and labeled in addition to following regulations set by the government. So while we love supporting small businesses, it's important to ensure quality control before purchasing anything from the internet.

—Additional reporting by Alexis Jones

Image Source: Getty / pinkomelet
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