TikTok's Pink Sauce Went From Viral Controversy To Walmart Shelves

From ways to hack your instant ramen to assembling a butter board, TikTok foodies have created a wide array of cooking trends. But, not all of TikTok's food innovations have piqued users' appetites. (Like the syrup and creamer-spiked "Dirty Soda.") Now, one divisive TikTok food invention is coming to Walmart shelves in a bubblegum pink bottle. This week, via a press release, TikTok user Chef Pii is joining forces with food purveyor Dave's Gourmet to release her internet-famous creation. Reintroducing: Pink Sauce.

So, what does Pink Sauce taste like? When its creator Carly Pii (@chef.pii) first debuted it on the social media platform in June 2022, viewers had the same questions. Pii posted a video of herself dunking a chicken tender in the viscous, blush-hued sauce and sharing that it was for sale. Her TikToks have since received tens of millions of views. But, when comments flooded in asking about the ingredients and how it was made, all Pii revealed was that the sauce was "100% naturally colored with no artificial additives," via Fast Company. Still, the sauce's mysterious contents didn't stop it from being wildly popular with fans. During its initial run, Pink Sauce – which was offered for $20 a pop – sold out in days. What went wrong?

Pink Sauce caught red-handed

The issue was a glaring question mark regarding food safety precautions and quality control. As TikToker @annareportsnews pointed out, the word "vinegar" was misspelled on the nutrition label. The poster further explained that the listed serving size was impossible: "First of all, (the label says) 444 servings but the serving size is 1 tablespoon. That's around 28 cups." Plus, the listed carbohydrate amounts didn't add up to match the listed total, reports Fast Company.

Because one of the listed ingredients was milk, there were doubts about Pink Sauce's shelf sustainability. Indeed, when the first batch of Pink Sauce arrived at a consumer's home, it was bulging from what appeared to be gas (via YouTube). Another reviewer reportedly said it smelled like their sauce had expired. (Yikes.) The controversy was so viral that outlets like Rolling Stone and The Washington Post covered it.

But, now, Pink Sauce is officially coming to the market – for real this time. While Chef Pii had the Pink Sauce recipe, she lacked the knowledge of commercial food distribution and correlated food safety manufacturing requirements to make her vision a reality. Enter: Dave's Gourmet.

Pink Sauce officially hits shelves

Dave's Gourmet meets Chef Pii's idea with years of food manufacturing experience. The company is perhaps most famous for its hot sauces like Dave's Insanity Sauce, which has been lauded for its extreme spiciness. The product was even featured in Season One of First We Feast's "Hot Ones" series, per the press release. Pink Sauce, however, is far from spicy. According to the Dave's Gourmet website, the sauce's titular pink color comes from dragon fruit puree. Other ingredients include coconut cream, ranch flavoring, vinegar, and garlic. One review on the site describes the flavor as "slightly sweet with some tang to it." Pink Sauce has already received over 100 reviews and boasts a 4.8-out-of-5 star rating and comments raving "Worth the wait." A 13-ounce bottle runs for $9.99, and the website suggests pairing it with chicken wings, burgers, hot dogs, grilled veggies, or pizza.

During the controversy, there was a question of whether the sauce met FDA requirements, per Fast Company. Under Dave's Gourmet, Pink Sauce is now made in an SQF-certified facility. Its production follows FDA guidelines, it's shelf-stable, and there are even gluten-free and vegan versions. Per their partnership, Dave's Gourmet is Pink Sauce's sole supplier and distributor, and Walmart will be the only retailer to carry it until July 2023. The product is scheduled to hit shelves in mid-January. For folks whose local Walmart isn't one of the 4,300 stores that will be carrying it, Pink Sauce is also available on Walmart's website.