Is Huy Fong's rooster sauce, better know to the world (Bart Simpson included) as Sriracha sauce, flying too close to the sun? Consider the advent of Sriracha chocolate bars, potato chips, and the sauce's role in a not-so-secret Subway sandwich condiment. Businessweek takes a look at the company's modest 68-year-old founder David Tran, a Vietnam native who, back in 1979, hopped on a Boston-bound freighter named the Huy Fong, and within a year had launched one of the unlikeliest, not to mention coolest food success stories ever.
The hot sauce has gotten so hot that Paul McIlhenny, Tabasco's sixth-generation chief executive, is looking to step in on Tran's Scoville scale empire. Though the company already markets an "East Asian-style chile Sauce," McIlhenny suggests a rooster-sauce killer may be on its way. "We're just playing with it at the moment," he coyly tells Businessweek. "But we're definitely looking at the Asian category."