California man sues Texas Pete hot sauce for false advertising

In a spicy twist of events, a California man is suing Texas Pete hot sauce for being made in North Carolina, not Texas.

Philip White of Los Angeles claims the hot sauce, which is owned by TW Garner Food Co., misled him into thinking he was buying a hot sauce that represented the Texas style of hot sauce, according to Fox 26 in Houston. When he checked the label and discovered that it was actually made in North Carolina, he did the most American thing you could do: take legal action.

“Although the defendant brands the products ‘Texas Pete,’ there is surprisingly nothing Texan about them: Unknown to consumers, the products are standard Louisiana-style hot sauces, made with ingredients sourced from outside of the State of Texas, at a plant in North Carolina,” the lawsuit reads. “Defendant’s deceptive marketing and labeling scheme violates well-established federal and state consumer protection laws aimed at prevent this exact type of fraudulent system.”

The court document goes on to say that TW Garner Food created this brand of hot sauce because “the state of Texas enjoys a certain mysticism and consumer appeal and is known for its cuisine of quality, its spicy food and its hot sauce in particular”.

White maintains that he was led to believe he was enjoying the true flavor of Texas, but that the defendant had “cheated” his way into the multi-billion dollar hot sauce industry with false advertising.

Perhaps surprisingly, Texas Pete is ready to go into battle.

“Rest assured, we will vigorously defend against these baseless allegations,” a TW Garner Food spokesperson told SFGATE via email.

Although it sounds like a case from an episode of “Boston Legal,” the mid-century ABC TV show about lawyers who took ridiculous cases, the trial is before a very real judge — White claims that the company did at least $5 million in damage with its inaccurate label.

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