Super Bowl Sunday is a big day for hot sauce companies like Frank’s. The chicken wing has become symbolic food for football lovers all over the world, and thanks to Anchor Bar (inventor of the original chicken wing), Frank’s has become a huge sensation producing a highly addicting wing sauce that fans all over the world say is synonymous with the flavor of the wing.
According to a recent NY Times article, the battle of the hot sauce companies is heating up now that Tabsco has entered the ring with its own version of chicken wing sauce. The article pays tribute to the Anchor Bar in a round about way by acknowledging that “Buffalo wings were first served, in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1964, [when] Frank’s RedHot was an ingredient in the sauce.” Of course Frank’s’ rise to fame, along with its market growth, would someday catch the attention of Tabasco (McIlhenny Company), which has just introduced its own version of Buffalo Style hot sauce – “Buffalo, New York, meet Buffalo, Louisiana.”. The marketing battle between the two is apparent as both companies have injected huge capital into respective branding campaigns leading up to the Super Bowl.
Now from what I understand, Anchor Bar used Frank’s RedHot to get the ball rolling, meaning that Frank’s was integral to the conceptualization of original wing sauce. But they didn’t invent it. So my question is, if Anchor Bar was the first (and presumably the best), and heavy hitting Frank’s and Tabasco are capitalizing on the success of the growing sensation, then what do the two hot sauce giants have over the original? Presumably mega corporations behind them. Hopefully Buffalonians who tout the chicken wing as a homegrown favorite also recognize that there can be only one – Anchor Bar. If you’re a fan of the Buffalo chicken wing, and you’re devoted to a particular wing sauce, we would love to hear about it. Even if it’s not one of the brands mentioned here (like the almost infamous John Young’s wing sauce).
What’s your favorite and why?