Ugh, food is so good. Period. And though we don't talk about it enough, color has a lot to do with what we think of food. When something is golden brown, we just know it's going to taste like a crunchy fried masterpiece. Green mint chocolate chip ice cream will greet our tastebuds with a cool and refreshing sensation in more than one way, and pink frosted donuts are as sweet as can be. And regarding the color pink, we almost always associate the soft hue with saccharine confections and bakery boxes.
That was until the Summer of 2022 when Pink Sauce took the internet by storm. Since then, the creator of the viral condiment has found herself at the center of controversy on more than one occasion. Although Pink Sauce had the internet in a chokehold when it first dropped, the negative publicity surrounding the product has made potential buyers skeptical.
Only a year after she debuted the product, Pink Sauce creator Chef Pii created a GoFundMe asking for financial support from her followers. Here's what you should know about the condiment catastrophe.
What is the Pink Sauce? Here's a breakdown.
Chef Pii (sometimes called the Flavor Genie) — who is a private/celebrity chef and mixologist, per her Instagram bio — is known for her sweet 'n' savory concoction aptly called Pink Sauce. If we had to describe the color, we'd call it millennial pink.
Its ingredients include water, sunflower seed oil, raw honey, distilled vinegar, garlic, pitaya, pink Himalayan sea salt, and less than 2 percent of dried spices, lemon juice, milk, and citric acid, per the Pink Sauce website. Pitaya — aka dragon fruit — is where the sauce gets its pink coloring from.
Though Pii herself refuses to touch on how it actually tastes (a marketing strategy, probably), some have compared the flavor to that of a sweet ranch sauce. TikTok user @jade.amberrrrr detailed that it tastes like "blackened ranch from Popeyes, but, like, sweet."
"It's like a sweet seasoned ranch, that's what it tastes like to me. But since it's made with oil, it's a lot more buttery and oily than ranch. Ranch is like creamier and saltier," she continued.
The Pink Sauce lady launched a GoFundMe — here's why.
Thanks to Chef Pii's partnership with Dave's Gourmet, the Pink Sauce has been available for purchase from Walmart since January 2023. However, recently, the influencer came forward and claimed that Dave's had not made good on their promises to her.
"They lied to me. They are not paying me and are not being transparent about records. I have tried on multiple occasions to try and come to one accord with them but they refuse to reimburse me for marketing expenses that I spent my own funds towards," she said of Pink Sauce's parent company on her GoFundMe page.
Chef Pii pleaded: "I am currently facing an eviction that has gone into default the sheriffs can come to my door any day now. I need legal help. They are refusing to pay me the royalty that is owed to me. I don't know what else to do. I can't give up. I need help."
While plenty of people flooded the comments with nasty messages, one celebrity showed his support. Kyrie Irving donated $24,240 to the Pink Lady, and a few others followed suit.
But, this isn't the first time Chef Pii's found herself in a sticky situation. In fact, only weeks after Pink Sauce went viral, she got blasted by critics for inconsistencies on the label.
A label mishap stirred up some Pink Sauce drama on social media.
All was going well for Chef Pii and her Pepto-Bismol-hued condiment, until TikTok user @seansvv released a video claiming her nutrition label was faulty and suspicious. "If someone gets sick from this I am scared for the person who gets sick and the person who owns this business," Sean says at the start of the video. Yikes.
"There are so many errors on this nutritional label, saying 444 servings, which is 14.4 grams [per serving]," they state. "Which makes almost 6,300-something grams in the whole bottle, which is inaccurate. And if these small details were overlooked, I'm looking at quality control now. I'm kind of scared."
They also commented on how the hue of the product seems to change with every picture of it posted, but we tend to think that comes down to lighting, photo quality, and photo editing/filters.
The Pink Sauce lady responded. "Alright, y'all. Time to acknowledge the elephant in the room," she said in her TikTok.
She started off by apologizing for the label errors (which is a good move) before clarifying that the issue has been fixed and no one will be receiving any more incorrect labels. All labels will be replaced with correct labels, and she will be sending customers who received faulty labels "a gift and a thank-you note."
"This is a small business that is just moving really really fast. We are working to try to get the price mark down on the Pink Sauce," Pii said in her response. The Pink Sauce costs $20 per bottle, and Pii shared her gratitude for those who were willing to spend a pretty penny on her pretty sauce.
At the time, the product was still in the "lab testing" phase.