Facing Hot Competition, Tabasco Opens a Museum

© B Christopher / Alamy B Christopher / Alamy
By Justine Sterling Posted January 29, 2016

In a Sriracha-crazed world, people are losing interest in America’s originally obsessed-over hot sauce brand. But Tabasco is fighting back…with a museum.

Tabasco controls just under 18 percent of the hot sauce market in the U.S. That’s a substantial share, but five years ago it had its hot hands on a full 20 percent. “A 3 percent drop in market share is pretty significant for a food manufacturing industry such as this one,” Ibrahim Yucel, a market research analyst, told SCPR. The sauces responsible for those lost percentage points are super-hot, less vinegary Asian and Mexican-style sauces like Sriracha and Tapatio, which younger spice-lovers appear to prefer.

But Tabasco is still fighting to stay relevant. Last year, the Louisiana-based brand opened up a Tobasco-themed restaurant at their headquarters on Avery Island. Now the company is opening the Tabasco Sauce Visitors Center, a museum dedicated to the history of the hot sauce, right next to the restaurant. According to Eater, the center is scheduled to open its doors on February 2. The museum is just the latest Avery Island attraction. Aside from the restaurant, there’s the Tabasco factory, which visitors can tour, an egret-packed pond called Bird City, a shrine housing a centuries-old Buddha and alligators. Beat that, Sriracha.

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