TikTok’s Viral Pink Sauce Proves Packaging and Pink Hues Equal Dollars (and Maybe Botulism)
by Chloe Gordon on 07/29/2022 | 3 Minute Read
TikTok has a funny way of making the most niche things go viral and become substantial cultural shifts. There's a viral video for almost everything, from milk frothers to beauty products and cleaning supplies to maple syrup Pepsi.
Yet, one of the most recent cult followings on the Sauce Tok side of TikTok is a viral Pink Sauce. Developed by a Florida-based mixologist and private chef who goes by Pii and @chef.pii on TikTok, the pink sauce intrigued the internet and created a Pepto-tinted moment of virality.
Chef Pii first leaked the sauce on her accounts when she created videos dunking chicken tenders into a bright pink pool of mystery sauce. The comments range from, "I'mma need you to describe the flavor before I even consider something like that ?" to "This looks interesting!!" all wanting to know more.
After the teaser videos, Pii released a pre-sale in which 100 bottles, each priced at $20, sold out in three days. Then, a week later, the Pink Sauce launched with the promise that every bottle would be "sweet, spicy, and tangy." Even though the sauces were available on July 1st, bottles took weeks to deliver. Some customers claimed their sauce smelled rancid, while others' packaging exploded in a pink glob.
And while TikTok can help an aspiring entrepreneur’s dreams come true, there's a scary side of things where rules might feel arbitrary. So much so that Chef Pii was quoted in live streamed videos saying, "the Pink Sauce [doesn't] contribute to your health," and therefore doesn't need to be vetted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since it's not a "medical product." This isn't true, mainly regarding sticky things like botulism that can occur when food isn't adequately sealed, fermented, or preserved.
And while the packaging itself was adorably on brand with pink hues taking center stage, the nutrition labels contained a few errors.
@annareportnews made a video describing the label mistakes, including each bottle claiming 444 servings each, which was impossible at their one tablespoon serving size. @annareportnews also critiqued spelling errors—"vinger" instead of vinegar—on the packaging and issues on the Pink Sauce's website.
Pink Sauce's packaging might be bright and animated with oversized typography and a brilliant yellow cap, it's essential not to let cute packaging and viral marketing distract consumers. While the pink sauce is everything viral trends are made of, something niche and utterly unique, this might be a Pepto-Bismol-hued brand that you're better off consuming with your eyes.
In the end, the neon pink concoction is pretty enticing, and the TikTok FOMO is very real. Going viral is hard work, and every budding entrepreneur wants to take advantage of that fleeting moment, but just like any start-up, you still have to go through the motions and ensure that your product is on the level.
And, according to an interview with Vice's Motherboard, that's just what Chef Pii is doing, as she's now in the early stages of working with the FDA. So who know, maybe we'll all be noshing on pink-sauced nuggets in the coming months.