Trying to piggyback off of a food craze, Texas Pete naturally hit the R&D to create their take on Sriracha. Before jumping into why they should’ve left well alone and how being first to market is EVERYTHING, I have to comment on the brand naming: Cha!
CHA?! Really? I understand where it came from, but in many circles the word “cha” is a slang term for a lady’s private area. A little bit of naming research should have turned this up and this name should have been quickly shot down.
Beyond the name, the whole concept burns of bad form. Huy Fong Foods is here to stay and with it their flagship, renowned hot sauce. The only difference between Texas Pete’s take on sriracha and HFF seems to be that Texas Pete uses less preservatives. I’m not sure how they substantiate this claim, but it’s buried in their marketing copy and easily missed. Maybe they plan to be a cheaper option?
The bottom line is that Huy Fong has three major things going for them.
- An excellent product that was first to market. Not only first to market, but really the ONLY company selling this hot sauce for a long time.
- The price is spot on. It’s cheap. Real cheap.
- It has authenticity that Texas Pete can’t touch. HFF’s sriracha got its start in asian restaurants. It pulls its authenticity by association.
Anyway you slice it, there’s no way Texas Pete will catchup (Ketchup joke in there somewhere) or even make a dent in the Huy Fong Foods srirache empire. Launching a half-assed product that has no competing position just because you’re a hot sauce company won’t fly. Naming your product after the happy parts of the female anatomy won’t help either. Aannnd using stupid puns in the marketing won’t help either. Three strikes, you’re out.
If you call it “Sriracha Cha!”, the ending sounds like “Cha-cha!” which I think is where Texas Pete was going with the name, giving it a Latin twist, but ending up with a name that sounds like slang for ‘a lady’s private area.’
Haha. I’m sure the intentions were great, but a little bit of research and user testing would’ve shown that no one will call it “Sriracha Cha”. Still marking this a Fail.