One week after New Orleans’ Preservation Hall earned national attention from CBS, Louisiana’s iconic hot sauce – Tabasco – will be the focus of a “60 Minutes” story this Sunday.
Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta will report from Avery Island, home of Tabasco, for a story on Sunday’s broadcast. It airs at 6 p.m. on WWL-TV Channel 4.
“Hot sauce, now ubiquitous in the U.S. and under so many brand names they’re hard to keep up with, began with just one name 146 years ago on a small island in Louisiana’s Cajun Country,” says CBS in its press release.
Gupta visits with Tony Simmons, the current CEO of Tabasco and great, great grandson of the company’s founder, Edmund McIlhenny. Simmons took over last year after the death of New Orleanian Paul McIlhenny, who had served as CEO. The McIlhenny family has run Tabasco since 1868.
“There was no commercially sold hot sauce before Tabasco. Edmund invented the category.” And ever since, the company has been run by and for family members over five generations -- another rare claim. “Only 30 percent of companies outlive the founder or move to a second generation and only 12 percent actually make it to a third generation,” says Simmons.
According to “60 Minutes,” hot sauce in the U.S. is a hot seller, with annual revenues of over a billion dollars. McIlhenny reportedly sells about $200 million worth of its Tabasco in 166 countries.
During a tour of the facility, Gupta took part in the CEO’s daily taste test of the hot pepper mash that, when mixed with vinegar, becomes Tabasco sauce.
“If you think Tabasco Sauce is hot, the raw ingredients are ten times hotter,” Gupta says in the report, explaining the raw materials’ powerful jolt.
This is the second consecutive weekend that CBS network programs have profiled New Orleans and Louisiana topics. Correspondent Lesley Stahl visited the landmark Preservation Hall in a story that aired last week on "CBS Sunday Morning."