In A Way, Tabasco Sauce Is Even More Popular Than McDonald's

store shelf with Tabasco and other sauces
store shelf with Tabasco and other sauces - The Image Party/Shutterstock

After being founded in 1940, McDonald's has opened 38,000 McDonald's stores in more than 100 countries. The fast food giant spent years competing with Subway and Starbucks as having the most restaurants but came out on top in the last couple of years. Tabasco, on the other hand, has had even longer to grow its popularity. American businessman Edward McIlhenny created the simple mix of distilled vinegar, red peppers, and salt and began bottling and selling his Tabasco Pepper Sauce in 1869. By 1870, he had patented it, and soon Tabasco wasn't just an American product but was being sold in Europe as well.

150 years later, Tabasco is sold in more than 195 countries and territories and comes in nine different flavors to satisfy everyone's heat preferences. The company even received a Royal Warrant in 2009 granted by Queen Elizabeth II, signaling a love of Tabasco in the royal household. McDonald's and Tabasco may not compete in the same categories, but Tabasco has the kind of worldwide popularity that McDonald's only dreams of having.

Read more: The Most Popular Condiments From Around The World

There Are More Than 1000 Hot Sauces To Choose From

Hot Sauce Bar in New Orleans
Hot Sauce Bar in New Orleans - Tim Graham/Getty Images

McDonald's may long to have a home in all the countries that welcome Tabasco, but for some, the chances are improbable. Currently, there are 13 countries without a McDonald's for reasons related to politics, economics, and culture. But despite its worldwide popularity, Tabasco has quite a bit of competition. There are "more than 1,000 hot sauce products to choose from on the Instacart marketplace," Instacart Trends Expert Laurentia Romaniuk said in an interview with FOX Business. "Customers last year purchased a whopping 444,854 gallons of their favorite fiery sauce."

Also boosting the public's interest in hot sauce is YouTube's "Hot Ones," the popular talk show in which host Sean Evans interviews celebrities while they eat progressively hotter chicken wings. Many fans have begun trying new hot sauce brands they see on the show, with Redditors often posting lists of their favorites.

But while heat lovers and connoisseurs seek out new and exciting small-batch hot sauces that are spicy, sweet, or Carolina reaper-hot, $2.49 for a two-ounce bottle that contains 720 drops means that Tabasco remains a stalwart kitchen staple for millions. From bars that need it to make Bloody Marys to restaurants that need it on customers' tables or home cooks that toss it in their eggs, gumbo, jambalaya, or almost anything, Tabasco is an affordable option for anyone who wants to add a little flavor and excitement to their food.

Read the original article on Mashed.