Finally, with my reviews all out of the way, I’d like to say a few last things about my work with the Screaming Chimp.
I was given these samples by a local, independent business who wanted my advice on whether to stock them or not but, realistically, I cannot tell them yes or no. I can give my opinion on the sauces and their packaging but there are other things behind the scenes that I can’t weigh in on.
Wholesale costs and whether their audience and that of the business in question will align, for example, are not my area of expertise.
I am, however, a little more open minded on the matter than they are. I enjoy the taste of chilli but won’t write off a good sauce just because those particular flavours aren’t there or aren’t strong enough.
A good hot sauce is still a good hot sauce, even if chilli isn’t the main focus of its flavour.
It is a point of great importance, though, when looking at potential stock. If customers just want a tasty sauce with heat, this range will go down well but, should they be looking for sauces that really work with the tastes of their respective chillies, I doubt that the Screaming Chimp range will catch on.
These sauces try to do something different and definitely have the strength of flavour to stand out. For that, I most certainly respect them but it also seems quite likely to turn chilli purists off. I feel as though the response will depend heavily on who’s buying them.
And, of course, there’s also the question of more specific tastes. Will customers want the whole range or just part of it?
The Screaming Chimp’s Pineapple is an excellent tropical sauce but, if this business’ customers prefer things more savoury or want serious heat, it won’t be for them.
And how does the rest of the business’ stock fit with them?
These are the questions that I’m not prepared to answer. All I can say is that I enjoyed the vast majority of the sauces, truly loved their mildest and think they would stand out well on the shelf with that stunning logo of theirs.
They don’t sell themselves on the chillies they use but, having now tried all their sauces, I can see why. Despite being largely hot or super, the Screaming Chimp’s chillies aren’t used in nearly enough of a quantity to produce the level of firepower you’d expect from a superhot sauce.
Yet, while their heat may be unexpectedly low for the peppers that they’ve chosen, that isn’t a failing. It’s a way to appeal to a wider, less extreme audience. An attempt to bring the flavour of superhots to that slightly milder market.
And I say slightly because their hottest will still be plenty hot enough for most.
In my experience, I don’t think that their plan has worked. I find the taste of chilli a little lacking in these sauces but the makers tell me that their customer feedback says otherwise. Either way, though, it certainly explains why they don’t mention the intense heat of the peppers themselves on the bottle.
They’re not making any promises that they can’t keep and they’re instead trying to bring extreme flavours to the masses. I respect that a lot, even if I don’t think it’s worked out perfectly.
And, whether I can taste the chilli or not, I still like the Screaming Chimp’s sauces. I still think that they’ve been well crafted and the owners seem like wonderful people. I am very sorry if we got off on the wrong foot but I really do like the way that they treat tomatoes and the focus on the paprika in their Vic’s Ol’ Smokey.
There are only two things I would suggest changing. One is to add shadow chillies up to four on each bottle so that the maximum can instantly be recognised and the other is to make the coloured label outlines a bit bolder.
Those outlines work online, where the colour also appears as each sauce’s background, and they’ll work with the company’s branding and organisation at their own market stalls but, as the only visual distinction between the range, they’re going to need to be more noticeable elsewhere.
So, in conclusion, I can’t say whether my local business contacts should stock these sauces but I can say to my readers that their Original and Smokey, at the very least, are well worth trying if you’re looking for something fruity that still works with a savoury meal. Or just something a little different to a high chilli concoction.
And, if you’d like a second opinion, why not check out that of my friend as we eat 3 of these sauces on camera?