We took a tour of the Tabasco factory in Avery Island, Louisiana where more than 700,000 bottles of the world-famous hot sauce are made every day. Founded in 1868 by Edmund McIlhenny, the brand is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.
We spoke to McIlhenny Executive Vice President Harold Osborn, a fifth-generation member of the McIlhenny Family about the entire process behind how Tabasco sauce makes it to the kitchens and dining tables of nearly 200 countries around the world.
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Following is a transcript of the video:
$200 million of Tabasco sauce is sold every year (Source: CBS News). Edmund McIlhenny founded the company in 1868. This is McIlhenny’s great-great-grandson.
Harold Osborn: We’re celebrating our 150th birthday this year. Tabasco starts here in the fields and it’s a five-year process from the beginning to the end. The peppers that are being made here right now are growing here, will be Tabasco sauce on your table in five years.
Text on screen: The pepper seeds are made on Avery Island. Then they’re shipped to farms in Latin America. The farmers wait for the peppers to ripen. Then they’re ground up and combined with salt. This “mash” goes back to Avery Island. It then ages in these barrels for three years. Each barrel yields around 10,000 bottles of Tabasco sauce.
Three years later … It’s time to make some sauce!
The mash is mixed with vinegar for three weeks. Then, the mix is strained to remove seeds and skin.
Here comes the sauce! Time to bottle it up! The design is based on a 19th-century cologne bottle.
The bottles are filled, capped, and labeled. Then they’re boxed up and prepped for shipping. Tabasco sauce is shipped to 195 countries. The factory produces around 700,000 bottles per day. This is only one week’s worth of inventory.
Too much sauce? Impossible!