This year’s ZestFest was January 29-31, and we were excited to get to meet with some of our customers face-to-face. One of my favorite things about ZestFest is letting other people sample our hot sauce and wing sauce and getting their feedback. We also got to try out other vendors’ products, like salsa from fellow Texas-based company La Familia Salsa and beef jerky and pineapple jerky from Katie’s Snack Foods.
Sampling Marie Sharp’s Pepper Sauce to the Public
This was the first year that we brought Marie Sharp’s hot sauce with us to sample, and Marie Sharp’s Smoked Habanero Hot Sauce was a real crowd pleaser. Many people hadn’t heard of her hot sauce until they tasted it at ZestFest, but now it’s obvious that Marie Sharp isn’t a name they’ll soon forget. Lots of people were also drawn to her Green Habanero and Grapefruit Habanero Hot Sauces. I think people were expecting the Green Habanero Pepper Sauce to taste like a Jalapeno sauce, so they were surprised at the mild and unique flavor. Her Grapefruit Habanero Hot Sauce is another unique sauce that doesn’t taste overly grapefruit-y but still boasts strong citrus notes.
The Flaming Chicken Wing Sauces: Just in Time For Sunday’s Big Game
Perhaps people were buying more wing sauces in preparation for the big football game this Sunday, but everyone who tried the Flaming Chicken Wing Sauces found at least one flavor that they loved. From Mango Heat to Scorpion Fire, there was something that appealed to everyone’s palate. Overall, the Flaming Chicken Hot Garlic and the Flaming Chicken Creamy Garlic Parmesan Wing Sauces were the two clear fan favorites at our booth, and we sold out of both on Saturday.
Feeling the Scorpion Sting of Irazu Volcanic Pepper Sauce
It was also fun to sample our line of Irazu Volcanic Pepper Sauces, which are all-natural hot sauces made from fresh Costa Rican produce. These hot sauces don’t contain any pepper extracts, but several people at ZestFest told us that the Scorpion Sting 70 was one of the hottest sauces they tried that day. A few tears were shed, but we were ready with the cream cheese to relieve the palates of those who needed it! I was definitely dishing out more cream cheese this year than last year, but I’m just glad that no one passed out or got sick!
2016 People’s Preference Award Winner
Although we didn’t enter anything in the Fiery Food Challenge this year, we still got to enter one of our products into one of the People’s Preference Award categories because we were an exhibitor. So we entered the Flaming Chicken Hot Garlic Wing Sauce in the Condiment category, not really expecting to win anything since it’s such a broad category with stiff competition. We’re pleased to announce that we came in third place—plus we were the only wing sauce that made the list!