Chef Pia, creator of TikTok’s viral pink sauce, has seen your memes. They don’t bother her.


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Viral ‘pink sauce’ creator tackles internet issues after TikTok users questioned the safety of her homemade dipping sauce.

The mysterious sauce, which seems to range from an opaque blush to a vibrant fuchsia, has both fascinated and horrified people online. TikTok viewers can’t stop talking about a product that costs a whopping $20 a bottle. The #pinksauce tag has 80.9 million views on the app. The pink sauce was trends on Twitter on Thursday.

The sauce has inspired memes and raised food safety concerns related to the product that TikTok creator Chef Pius makes, sells and ships from Florida.

But Chief Pia is not too worried. “I think it’s Madonna,” she said in an interview about her product. “It’s Beyoncé among those sauces.”

Chef Pia, who wanted to be addressed by her TikTok username for privacy reasons, first showed off the sauce in videos of her pouring it over plates of food.

Videos of her making pop-up sauce garnered attention, and “TikTok demanded they want pink sauce,” she said.

But soon after the sauce went viral, many TikTok users began pointing out obvious differences in the color of the product. They questioned Chef Pii’s quality control and noted that each bottle contained conflicting nutritional information.

Critics have also questioned whether the sauce is shelf-stable and safe to transport in high summer temperatures. Some pointed out that the label on the bottle instructs users to refrigerate the product despite the fact that it comes without temperature-controlled packaging, raising additional concerns about the possibility of food poisoning.

Others have accused her of selling “food coloring mayonnaise” because Pia’s chef initially refused to reveal the ingredients used in the sauce. She eventually published an incomplete list that included dragon fruit, honey, chili, garlic, and sunflower oil.

In one of the first videos she posted featuring the product, chef Pia dipped a chicken breast into a bowl of purple liquid. The video, posted on June 11, has received about 755,000 views. “Today it looks like purple sauce,” one viewer commented.

Chef Piya said she began experimenting with making pink sauce in June 2021, and later this summer began posting “prototype” videos. When she opened her restaurant, Flavor Crazy, that same year, Chef Pia began adding her sauce to dishes. During the pop-ups, “customers asked for it.”

According to Chef Pia, Flavor Crazy is no longer in production, but “that’s a different story.”

The 29-year-old chef lives in Miami, where Florida’s “home produce” laws allow people to sell certain foods that “pose a low risk of foodborne illness” in unlicensed home kitchens. Home food operators can manufacture and sell these products without a permit as long as their gross sales do not exceed $250,000 per year.

Food Science Babe, the creator of TikTok known for her nutrition explainer videos, pointed out errors on the product label. According to Food Science Babe, the bottle could not hold 444 single tablespoon servings, and there were several spelling errors on the label.

In a follow-up video, Food Science Babe defended Chef Pia from the internet doggy mob, explaining that the backlash overshadowed legitimate concerns about labeling issues.

“There are enough real, known issues with this product. It’s not some real crime where you have to decide something,” said Food Science Babe, who did not immediately respond to an interview request. “It is clear that there are problems with labeling, composition and packaging. I have no doubt that the composition needs help in terms of preservation and emulsification, but this nonsense does not help.

Chef Pia said she’s heard about the criticism from people online and she’s “sure” she’ll “recover 100% from it.”

People love my product. I made several mistakes. We’re coming back from this and we’re going to grow from there

-Chief Pius

“I can’t stop someone from doing certain things,” Chef Pii said. “I get to choose how I react to this because I created something so damn amazing. I will insist on it. I love my product. People love my product. I made several mistakes. coming back from that, and we’re going to grow from there.”

She added that earlier videos depicting the sauce as a lighter shade of pink were “prototypes” and that she adjusted the hue to “what the audience gravitated towards the most”.

Piya’s chef claimed that she could not initially disclose that she had used dragon fruit instead of food coloring before trademarking the sauce.

She started selling bottles of sauce on July 1, she says, and has only shipped about 200 units to date. Her company has since suspended production while the product is “currently undergoing official laboratory testing.”

NBC News was unable to confirm whether the product was lab tested because Piya’s chef did not reveal the name of the facility. She said she couldn’t do it until the results came back from the lab.

Responding to viewers’ concerns about the product’s ingredients, Chef Piya said the pink sauce contains “less than 2% milk powder” and added that her company “also lists this on the label.” She plans to change the product’s label to instruct users to keep it refrigerated after opening. Chef Pii said the graphic designer “got it wrong” when designing the label and promised to “triple proofread” the new label “before it goes live.”

“We didn’t test the sauce before sending it to people,” Chef Pii said. “The sauce is absolutely fine as long as it’s not refrigerated until you open it.”

She said she was willing to lower the price of the bottle if she could work with a “mass distributor or big company” to get the product in stores.

For now, though, Pia’s chef said she’s focused on keeping her customers updated.

“We’ve had a few setbacks,” Chef Pii said. “You know, since it’s so much, everyone wants a platform outside of my platform… We only have a few requests for refunds. Everyone else says “baby do it right” and “we’re waiting for our sauce”.

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