The Old Bay hot sauce that was so eagerly anticipated that customers crashed McCormick’s website one year ago has returned — and it’s here to stay, the company announced Monday.
The hot sauce sold out less than an hour after it debuted last January, and the overwhelming demand shut down the web site of Hunt Valley-based McCormick website. The spice company later brought back the sauce in June for a limited run.
Now, the Old Bay hot sauce is back for good.
“When you love something so much, you make it permanent!” company officials said in a statement. “After the wildly popular tangy-with-a-kick condiment debuted last year (and sold out almost instantly), the fan favorite is back and it’s officially here to stay in stores and online.”
The sauce is available online now at $6.95 for a two-pack of 5-ounce bottles, $8.95 for two 10-ouncers, and $18.95 for a 64-ounce jug.
The condiment will also be making its way to grocery and retail stores along the East Coast and in select stores across the United States between now and April, including Acme, Big Lots, Food Lion, Giant, Harris Teeter, Martin’s Safeway, ShopRite, Wegmans, Weis and more.
McCormick would welcome a financial boost from sales; the company saw its profits drop slightly in its fourth quarter.
With McCormick’s profits down $213.2 million, a 1.5% decrease, some Wall Street analysts labeled the company’s fourth quarter as “disappointing,” the Baltimore Business Journal reported.
The rise of home cooking during the pandemic led McCormick to temporarily suspend manufacturing certain items and shift to high-demand products. The company later hired more workers and partnered with third-party manufacturers to increase their capacity, per the BBJ.
During a conference call Thursday, CEO Lawrence Kurzius told analysts that the company started shipping again on about two-thirds of the spices they had previously stopped manufacturing, and store shelves will be restocked over the coming weeks, the BBJ reported.
The hot sauce is a nice complement to just about any food you would put regular Old Bay seasoning on, like burgers, wings, crab dip, chili, Bloody Mary drinks and more, McCormick recommended.
When Baltimore Sun staff taste-tested the hot sauce last year, some gave positive reviews while others said the condiment didn’t have enough heat.
“That’s pretty damn good,” said former Sun multimedia journalist Thalia Juarez, who added she was “pleasantly surprised.”
“I’m not wild about it. I would put it in a Bloody Mary though.” columnist and reporter Jacques Kelly said.