Maryland’s McCormick & Co. buys hot sauce maker Cholula

Cholula sauce brand hot sauce
Cholula, seen here at a gift shop at Mexico’s Benito Juarez International Airport, will come under the umbrella of the companies owned by McCormick & Co. (Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

McCormick & Co., the world’s largest spice company based in Maryland’s Hunt Valley, is spicing up its condiment offerings with the acquisition of hot sauce maker Cholula for $800 million in cash from private-equity firm L. Catterton.

McCormick acquired Frank’s RedHot Sauce and French’s Mustard in 2017.

“Hot sauce is an attractive, high-growth category and, as an iconic premium brand, Cholula is outpacing category growth. Cholula, a brand known for authentic bold and spicy Mexican flavors, is a strong complement to our portfolio,” said McCormick CEO Lawrence E. Kurzius, in a news release.

Cholula has $96 million in annual sales. Its six versions of hot sauces are made in Mexico. It is named after a 2,500-year-old city in Mexico, the oldest inhabited city in North America.

McCormick, founded in Baltimore as a door-to-door sales company, now has $5 billion in annual sales. In addition to its wide variety of dried herbs and spices under the McCormick name, its other brands include Old Bay, Lawry’s, Zatarain’s, Stubb’s and Gourmet Garden.

The company broke ground in October on what will be its largest distribution center in the world when it opens in 2022 at the Tradepoint Atlantic Industrial Park in Sparrows Point, in Baltimore County.

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