Huy Fong Foods
|Founded||1980 in Los Angeles|
Yassie Tran Holliday
|Products||Asian-style hot sauce|
Number of employees
|Huy Fong Foods|
|Vietnamese alphabet||Công ty Thực phẩm Hối Phong|
Huy Fong Foods is an American hot sauce company based in Irwindale, California. Beginning in 1980 on Spring Street in Los Angeles's Chinatown, it has grown to become one of the leaders in the Asian hot sauce market, particularly in Sriracha sauce.
The company is named for a Taiwanese freighter, Huey Fong, that carried the founder David Tran and 3,317 other refugees out of Vietnam in December 1978. The rooster symbol comes from the fact that Tran was born in the Year of the Rooster on the Chinese zodiac.
The company's most popular product is its sriracha sauce. It was originally made with Serrano peppers and is now made with red Jalapeño peppers, reducing the overall pungency. It is currently Huy Fong Foods' best-known and best-selling item, easily recognized by its bright red color and its packaging: a clear plastic bottle with a green cap, text in five languages (Vietnamese, English, Chinese, French, and Spanish) and the rooster logo. One nickname for the product is "rooster sauce”, for the logo on the bottles. In contrast to similar hot sauces made by other manufacturers, Huy Fong's sriracha sauce does not contain fish extract, making it suitable for most vegetarians, although the presence of garlic may make it unsuitable for members of Buddhism and some Hindu denominations.
The sauce was developed by the company's founder, David Tran (born 1945), a Chinese-Vietnamese businessman and former Major in the Army of the Republic of South Vietnam, who fled the country in 1978 and arrived in the United States (first in Boston, then in Los Angeles) in the spring of 1980 as a part of the migration of the Vietnamese boat people following the Vietnam War.
Huy Fong Foods is a family business, staffed by eight members of the family. David Tran's son, William Tran (born c. 1976), is the company's president; his daughter Yassie Tran-Holliday is vice-president. The company has never advertised its products, relying instead on word of mouth.
Early industrial production
By 1987, Huy Fong Foods had relocated to a 68,000-square-foot (6,300 m2) building in Rosemead, California that once housed toymaker Wham-O. The company purchases chilis grown in Ventura, Los Angeles, and Kern Counties. Most of each year's chili mash is produced in just two months, during the autumn harvest. The sauces are produced on machinery that has been specially modified by Tran, who taught himself machining and welding skills. In 2001, the company was estimated to have sold 6,000 tons of chili products for approximately US$12 million.
Huy Fong Foods' chili sauces were made from red jalapeño chili peppers grown in Moorpark, California by Underwood Family Farms, and contain no artificial ingredients. The relationship with Underwood ended in 2016, and in August 2017 Huy Fong sued its former supplier, alleging breach of contract and other causes of action. The company formerly used serrano chilis but found them difficult to harvest. All three sauces are manufactured in Rosemead, California. The company has warned customers about counterfeit versions of its sauces.
In December 2009, Bon Appétit magazine named its Sriracha sauce Ingredient of the Year for 2010. In 2010 the company produced 20 million bottles of sauce in a year. As of 2012 it had grown to sales of more than US$60 million a year.
New factory and community relations issues
In 2010, the company opened a factory in Irwindale, California. It is 23 acres, with 26,000 square feet (2,400 m2) of office space, 150,000 square feet (14,000 m2) of production space, and 480,000 square feet (45,000 m2) of warehouse. The odor of chilis that emanates from the new Irwindale factory upset the community's residents and the City of Irwindale filed a lawsuit against Huy Fong Foods in October 2013, claiming that the odor was a public nuisance. Initially, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge refused the city's bid to shut down the factory but a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ordered the factory to essentially shut down on November 27, 2013, prohibiting all activities that could cause odors. On May 29, 2014, it was announced that Irwindale had dropped the lawsuit against Huy Fong Foods.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Huy Fong Foods.|
- Huy Fong Foods website.