9 Hot Sauce Business Success Stories [2023]

9 Hot Sauce Business Success Stories [2023]
Start A Hot Sauce Business

Hot sauce is one of the most popular condiments in the world, and it's easy to see why: it's versatile, delicious, and can add some serious flavor to almost anything you put it on—and not just for people who like spicy foods! Hot sauce can be used to create complex flavors that are perfect for anyone looking for a little extra pep in their step.

So, if you love hot sauce and you also love money, it turns out, you can start and run a hot sauce business! You can make it yourself or you can buy it in stores and resell it to earn some good profit.

If you are planning to make the hot sauce yourself you’ll need some initial capital to purchase ingredients and equipment for making the hot sauce, as well as packaging materials such as bottles and labels.

The average hot sauce lover will try and consume about 2-3 unique hot sauces in a week, which means there's a lot of money to be made in this industry!

Here are some real life success stories of starting a hot sauce business:

1. Trini Pepper Sauce ($27K/year)

Mustafa (from Raleigh) started Trini Pepper Sauce about 9 years ago.

$2.25K / month
3 founders / 3 employees

Case Study

Hello! My name is Mustafa Mannan, co-founder and co-owner of Trini Pepper Sauce by Findlay Food Group llc. Undergrad friends and I started producing two varieties of sauce, mild [also known as “Original”] and hot, five years ago.

Today, the sauce is sold in specialty stores in Raleigh and Washington DC, with the majority of sales coming from our online store front. All in all we are averaging $3000/month in revenue.


2. KPOP Foods ($2.4M/year)

Theo Lee (from Los Angeles, California, USA) started KPOP Foods about 6 years ago.

$200K / month
2 founders / 5 employees
Los Angeles, California, USA

Case Study

Hi, my name is Theo Lee and I’m the co-founder and CEO of KPOP Foods.
Today, the brand and story behind a company is critical for success and sustainability as consumers are driven towards companies and products making an impact.

We’ve entered over 90 specialty stores throughout the west coast and are currently raising an investment round to expand our distribution into major retailers.


Learn more about starting a hot sauce business:

Where to start?

-> How to start a hot sauce business?
-> How much does it cost to start a hot sauce business?
-> Pros and cons of a hot sauce business

Need inspiration?

-> Examples of established hot sauce business
-> Marketing ideas for a hot sauce business
-> Hot sauce business slogans
-> Hot sauce business names
-> Hot sauce business Instagram bios

Other resources

-> Hot sauce business tips
-> Hot sauce business hashtags
-> Hot sauce business calculator

4. Flaming Licks ($156K/year)

James Bryson (from Wimborne Minster, England, United Kingdom) started Flaming Licks over 7 years ago.

$13K / month
2 founders / 3 employees
Wimborne Minster, England, United Kingdom

Case Study

Hello! We are James and Erika and we run Flaming Licks. Flaming Licks is a hot sauce subscription club and chili shop based in Dorset in the UK. We send out monthly boxes containing curated hot sauces and spicy products to chili lovers around the world. Most of our members are people who love to add a spicy kick to their meals. They range from those who use hot sauce sometimes to the full-blown chili addicts.

We have finished 2019 with around 500 active members and plan to grow to 1000 members by the end of next year.


5. Small Axe Peppers Hot Sauce ($1.02M/year)

daniel fitzgerald (from New York, NY, USA) started Small Axe Peppers Hot Sauce about 9 years ago.

$85K / month
3 founders / 3 employees

Case Study

Hello! We are Small Axe Peppers, a New York City-based hot sauce manufacturing company that sources our peppers from over 200 community gardens throughout The United States.

The company was founded in collaboration with non-profit organizations, GrowNYC, local community gardens, and Bronx Green-Up, the community outreach program of the New York Botanical Garden.


6. Sienna Sauce ($192K/year)

Tyla-Simone Crayton (from Houston, TX, USA) started Sienna Sauce almost 6 years ago.

$16K / month
1 founders / 3 employees

Case Study
  • Tyla-Simone Crayton, first created her signature sauce at the age of 8 when her family had no sauce for their homemade chicken wings.
  • Crayton and her mother "threw a bunch of random things" together to create the sauce, which turned out to be a hit.
  • Crayton's sauce, called Sienna Sauce, is now sold for nearly $10 a bottle and in 70 stores across the U.S.
  • In 2019, the business brought in $192,000 in revenue.
  • Crayton begged her mother for years to let her sell the sauce, but it wasn't until she was a teenager that her mother relented.
  • In 2017, Crayton and her mother opened a pop-up restaurant night in their home to test the market and prove that the sauce could capture a customer base.
  • The pop-up restaurant was so successful, Crayton and her mother made it a regular gig and sold 700 to 1,000 wings every Friday night, bringing in $48,000.
  • Based on the success of their makeshift restaurant, Monique agreed to let Crayton bottle and sell Sienna Sauce.
  • To launch the business, Monique gave Crayton $1,500 to buy her first bottles and labels, and Crayton would hand-make the sauce in the kitchen every Sunday morning.
  • Business began to pick up, and Crayton now sells her sauce in big-name stores.

Marketing strategies

Tyla-Simone Crayton used several strategies to make her business, Sienna Sauce, a success:

  • Creating a unique and high-quality product: Crayton was able to recreate the unique, sweet-tasting sauce of her favorite wing restaurant, which had recently closed, and her sauce was well received by her family and friends.

  • Starting small and testing the market: Crayton and her mother started by selling the sauce at home and then opened a pop-up restaurant night in their home to test the market and prove that the sauce could capture a customer base.

  • Building a loyal customer base: Crayton reached out to former customers of her home restaurant, who she knew liked the sauce, and would sell a couple of bottles to them, who would then buy some more.

  • Expanding to retail: Based on the success of their pop-up restaurant, Crayton and her mother decided to bottle and sell Sienna Sauce, which they named after their town, starting in 2018. Crayton was able to expand and now sells her sauce in popular stores like Walmart.

  • Consistency: Crayton was consistent in making the sauce every Sunday morning and reaching out to her customers, this helped her to keep a steady stream of revenue.

  • Branding and Marketing: Crayton and her mother used social media, flyers, and word of mouth to build awareness of their brand, this helped them to increase the popularity of the sauce and attract more customers.

  • Leveraging the support of family: Monique, Crayton's mother, supported her and helped her to launch the business with a small loan of $1500 and also helped her with other aspects of the business such as branding and marketing.


Future Plans

  • She sees herself as a curious and creative person who is always making inventions.
  • She believes that her sauce is unique and better than the sauce of her favorite wing restaurant.
  • She is confident in her product and is proud of what she has created.
  • She is passionate about entrepreneurship and wants to be a successful businesswoman.
  • She is committed to her brand and wants to keep the quality of her sauce consistent.
  • She wants to expand her business and bring her sauce to more people.
  • She plans to innovate her product line and add more flavors to her sauce.
  • She is grateful for the support of her mother and the role she played in helping her to start her business.
  • She is optimistic about the future of her business and sees a lot of potential for growth.
  • She is determined to make her business a success.

7. Huy Fong Foods ($150M/year)

David Tran (from Irwindale, California, USA) started Huy Fong Foods about 43 years ago.

$12.5M / month
1 founders / 38 employees

Case Study

Huy Fong Foods is an American hot sauce manufacturer headquartered in Irwindale, California. In 1980, a Chinese immigrant from Vietnam named David Tran founded the brand.

The business has developed into one of the market leaders for Asian hot sauces, particularly Sriracha sauce, also known as rooster sauce, because of the rooster-themed label.

When Tran first began his business, he sold his sauces out of a blue Chevy van that he had filled with used baby food jars. In his first month, he earned $2300.

In 2019, Tran's Sriracha generated $150 million in revenue annually, accounting for 10% of the US market for hot sauce.


Read the full story on vietcetera.com ➜

8. Frag Out Flavor ($1.5M/year)

Patrick Flynn (from Golden, CO, USA) started Frag Out Flavor over 5 years ago.

$125K / month
1 founders / 1 employees

Case Study

Hello! I’m Patrick Flynn – founder and CEO of Frag Out Flavor. We provide the absolute best spice blends and BBQ rubs for meals that bring families and friends together. With over 20 proprietary spice blends, we have something to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. From sweet to savory, no heat to HOT, we've got you covered. As a veteran-owned and operated company, we stand behind those who defend our country’s founding principles, our communities, and the American way of life.


Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
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