As Miami-based chef Carly Pii reveals she’s now infamous Pink Sauce on TikTok, the social network went crazy.
But somehow, some regulatory code got lost in the sauce, and she found herself being called out by customers for improper delivery, incorrect labeling, and unsafe product conditions.
Some customers have even complained about receiving rotting products, and critics have taken to TikTok to voice their displeasure.
All of which attracted the attention of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who placed her under investigation.
In an exclusive show by TSR Investigates, we catch up with the woman behind it all for the details of what happened and how a new big-brand deal could help turn the tide. The Shadow Room investigates…
Pii tells Justin Carter of the TSR Investigator.
Former celebrity chef with “Pink Sauce”, made $50K on first production
Chef Pii said she has been a chef for about 4 years, and even had her own catering business at one time, however she was forced to close during the pandemic. .
Her friends finally encouraged her to go public with her infamous Pink Sauce, and after posting a video of the product on TikTok last month, the frenzy for the spice has exploded. .
That video went viral, with 5.5 million viewers watching Chef Pii eat a chicken thigh covered in Pink Sauce. She’ll then follow up with that with more videos, applying seasoning to everything from chili peppers to hot fries and even burgers.
She went on to sell 1,600 units of the sauce in her first production, all of which sold within 30 days.
The sauce doesn’t come cheap, though, at $20 a bottle, which means she made $50,000 on that first try alone.
“I wanted to create a sauce that was like me, crazy, sexy, cool, delicious,” she said of the product. “It blew up before I had time to grow like a regular business.”
The sauce itself is made from sunflower seed oil, chili, garlic, honey and dragon fruit, giving the sauce its signature pink color.
Reviews on TikTok are proven to have mixed, negative reactions regarding the packaging, style, and price
Then came the social media reviews. Several people who bought the sauce took to TikTok to give their opinions on the condiment, and the results were mixed.
One woman said it tasted like sweet farmhouse sauce. Another said it’s “not bad, but definitely not worth the $20 per bottle.”
The worst of the complaints is about the swelling of the bottle. Some even exploded in transit, which Pii blamed on using plastic bags when mailing products.
Pii said “actually 50 shipments” were damaged during her initial production. She says she now uses cardboard boxes to ship the sauce.
Then there are the complaints regarding the nutritional information and labeling of the sauce. The number of servings per container is a whopping 444, at 90 calories per serving, which means a bottle has almost 40,000 calories.
And there are also typos in the ingredients list of the sauce.
She said she hired a graphic designer, whom she will not name, and re-read the packaging, but she saw no typos.
“Maybe I should have four or five people proofread it,” she said.
When asked about people who have her bottle of Pink Sauce, she says it must be stored in the refrigerator after opening and tells them to look for the expiration date printed on the label.
And she asserts that no one has been able to give concrete evidence that they got sick from the sauce, and argues that people started circulating “conspiracy theories” about how the sauce spread so quickly. so fast.
Viral videos attract the attention of the FDA, who launched an investigation into the sauce
All that attention has drawn the scrutiny of the Food and Drug Administration, who have launched an investigation into the sauce.
The FDA says it has a so-called food facility registry that enforces strict packaging criteria, something that Chef Pii’s sauces don’t meet.
For her part, Pii said she has no experience in commercial food production, so she is starting over.
They have since halted production, however she has partnered with Dave’s Gourmet, a major food brand known for hot sauces, and hasn’t given up on her Pink Sauce.
The company said in a statement that it was able to recreate Pii’s sauce while “changing a few ingredients to make the sauce less complex, dairy-free and clean of any preservatives. “
She added that the sauce is currently being redeveloped for a two-year shelf life among other changes.
Pii still maintains his enthusiasm for the product and says it will eventually become a household name.
She says customers can expect another round of pre-orders for the updated sauce later this year.