A California man has sued the maker of Texas Pete-brand hot sauce products, alleging the company deceptively advertises itself as having Texas ties, while it is in fact made in North Carolina. White v. T.W. Garner Food Co., No 22-6503 (C.D. Cal., filed September 12, 2022).

The plaintiff has brought a proposed class action against T.W. Garner Food Co., a North Carolina company, alleging the company’s labeling and advertising campaign “is overloaded with references to Texas.”

“Although Defendant brands the Products ‘Texas Pete,’ there is surprisingly nothing Texas about them: unknown to consumers, the Products are standard Louisiana-style hot sauces, made with ingredients sourced outside the state of Texas, at a factory in North Carolina,” the complaint said. The plaintiffs noted that the packaging and labeling has “distinctly Texan imagery: the famed white ‘lone’ star from the Texan flag together with a ‘lassoing’ cowboy.”

“Defendant concocted this false marketing and labeling scheme specifically because it knows the state of Texas enjoys a certain mysticism and appeal in the consumer marketplace and is known for its quality cuisine, spicy food, and hot sauce in particular,” the complaint asserts. “By way of its false marketing and labeling, Defendant knowingly and intentionally capitalizes on consumers’ desire to partake in the culture and authentic cuisine of one of the most prideful states in America.”

The complaint includes claims of violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising Law and Consumers Legal Remedies Act, as well as breach of warranty and unjust enrichment. The plaintiff is seeking class certification, declaratory relief, injunctive relief, damages, attorneys’ fees and pre- and post-judgment interest.

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