Today, almost 75 years later, Salsa Huichol has maintained its relevance and preference among its loyal consumers in Mexico and the United States, where it has also positioned itself in Hispanic stores and major supermarket chains.
The success story of Salsa Huichol began with only 40 Mexican pesos in 1949, the only capital Don Roberto Lopez Flores had after finishing his job in construction, which he wanted to invest in his studies. But his father told him he had to stay working in Tepic, Nayarit, to help with household expenses.
Don Roberto’s father suggested that with the 40 pesos, he could prepare salsa and sell it since his mother had an excellent recipe for making it, and so he did. He bought the chiles, other ingredients, about 40 bottles, and a hand mill. Then he went out to offer the salsa to restaurants and cantinas in Tepic, and at the end of the day, he sold all the bottles.
In this way, Don Roberto started the family business that today has won the heart of Nayarit and, with its flavor, continues to conquer the palate of more consumers.
Don Roberto passed on the recipe for Salsa Huichol and its secret ingredients to his son, Roberto Lopez Lopez, who also became involved in the business at a very young age and was instrumental in strengthening the production area. He, in turn, instilled a love for the business in his two sons, Roberto and Alfonso Lopez Acosta.
“I believe that the success of the brand is due to financial discipline, work discipline, and love for the brand that has been transmitted from generation to generation; that is something that is not learned in college,” said Alfonso Lopez, Commercial Director of Salsa Huichol.
For over 45 years, the process of making, bottling, and packaging of Salsa Huichol was manual until, by the growing demand, they needed to increase production, giving way to the modernization of the factory with advanced technology. They changed the glass containers to recyclable PET containers and established the first automated production line.
With the innovating processes that the Lopez family continued to use to optimize production, they have been able to diversify the flavors of the sauces and accelerate their manufacture while minimizing manual labor.
“Currently, in Salsa Huichol, we are about 14 people, and we work at a speed of 360 bottles per minute. There are three operators, including my brother Roberto, an industrial engineer, and we have Swiss, German, American, Mexican, and Italian machines. We are always renewing our technology because we have this production education to do things well, with quality, and at the lowest possible price,” said López.
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To meet the demand of different consumer tastes, Salsa Huichol now produces five types of sauces: traditional Hot Sauce, Habanera, Salsa with Lime, Black Sauce, and the Botanas Sauce.
Lopez says that there has been a greater emphasis on export growth in recent years. This mission has been entrusted to Luis Alfonso García Jiménez through his company Trustknnect with the teamwork of Mazuma Trading.
Reflecting on the future that awaits Salsa Huichol, Lopez emphasizes the commitment to do things better every day “we will move forward because it is not only a sauce, but also a legacy of my grandfather and is a brand that is not ours, it is of many Nayaritans who are around the world, and we really owe them,” he said.
“First, we are committed to continuously improving with our suppliers, customers, and those who work for us. Second, to make that leap from a regional brand here in Mexico to a more national brand, we must have a more participatory role in the category at the national level. And the parallel plan is to formalize exports, especially in the United States, where Americans are becoming increasingly Latino because there is greater consumption and more acceptance of the Latin food culture,” concluded López.