Pink Sauce, a condiment that went viral on TikTok and Instagram last summer, launched exclusively at Walmart in January through a manufacturing partnership between creator Chef Pii and Dave’s Gourmet.
Chef Pii — who sports pink hair — initially packaged and sold the pink-colored sauce herself for $20 after gaining widespread attention with videos that showed her using it on a wide variety of foods, including fried chicken, tacos and shrimp. However, the product quickly sparked backlash from consumers, who questioned the accuracy of its ingredient list and complained about shipping issues.
The new version, manufactured by Dave’s Gourmet, is being sold in 13-ounce bottles for $7.78 exclusively at Walmart through July, when it will roll out to the rest of the market. The vegan and gluten-free condiment contains dragon fruit puree, coconut cream and ranch seasoning.
Chef Pii and Dave’s Gourmet promoted the launch with posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. In one TikTok post from Chef Pii, a video depicts her walking the aisles of a Walmart store in a shiny pink dress and matching plush shawl to find her product stocked in the condiment aisle near SKUs from brands such as Unilever’s Hellmann’s and Kraft Heinz Co.’s Kraft.
Dave’s Gourmet additionally drummed up support for the launch by running a sweepstakes from March 1-8 awarding four winners with a $250 Walmart e-gift card. Consumers entered by liking a designated Facebook post and tagging friends. They also needed to follow the brand on TikTok, Facebook or Instagram.
The target shopper for the product started as an influencer-motivated consumer who sees trends on social media and then wants to try the product, says David Neuman, CEO of Dave’s Gourmet. “We are evolving into a more mainstream retail shopper looking for something fun,” he says.
Dave’s Gourmet has been making product to replenish shelves and meet demand for many months, Neuman says. The company expects to sell hundreds of thousands of bottles, he adds.
When asked why the brand decided to partner with Walmart, Neuman says the retailer “expressed immediate interest, as did others. But none could offer us the enormous store count and own e-commerce fulfillment.”
Neuman has 30 years of experience selling to Walmart and admits it’s a challenge getting a brand’s product on shelf at the retail giant — “as it should be.” However, if a brand has something “their shopper desires and can make the numbers work, it’s an amazing experience,” he says.
Walmart additionally sells several Dave’s Gourmet pasta sauces and creamy hot sauces through Walmart.com and at select stores as part of the Pink Sauce partnership.
“Pink Sauce is our way to help newcomers to the food production and distribution world,” Neuman says. “As a result, many more brands have approached us to help them, too. Many were not a fit for us. A few will be coming to market this year, and we have more sauces in development.”