This week, the Association for Dressings and Sauces (ADS) announced Golden State Foods as the winner of the Sauce of the Year Award for the Zaxby’s Caribbean Jerk Sauce. During the ADS 2020 Technical Meeting held virtually from October 5-7, GSF’s Senior Director, Production Development Mitch Dingwall, Senior Corporate Chef Kate Dolan and Product Development Technician Daizy Hwang were recognized for developing the truly innovative and delicious product.
“GSF collaborated with the Zaxby’s Product Innovation team on the Caribbean Jerk Sauce for Zaxby’s Caribbean Jerk Fillet Sandwich,” said Mitch Dingwall. “As consumers enjoy pepper and spice-flavored foods, the ‘spice and heat’ trend influenced this crowd-pleasing sauce, which features just the right amount of heat and a balanced flavor profile with familiar, yet authentic, exotic, intriguing notes.”
The winning sauce initially launched in January 2020 as limited time offer and then extended longer because the promotion was so successful. To determine the winner, a judging team from the ADS membership voted on the best overall taste via blind taste tests of the nominated sauces.
“The authentic, fruity, sweet and spicy Caribbean Jerk Sauce features a blend of mango, habanero peppers, and Island spices,” said GSF Senior Corporate Chef Kate Dolan. “It complements other sandwich ingredients, including a signature hand-breaded, crispy-fried chicken fillet, banana peppers, lettuce, and mayo on a toasted potato bun. Zaxby’s also offered this sauce as a wing glaze.”
The GSF team’s culinary work behind this product translated into strong business results, significantly exceeding expectations for its market performance. To keep up with customer demand, GSF remained flexible, agile, and creative with production planning. Several times, some of the key ingredients in the sauce were brought in via express air freight to keep batches flowing out and the restaurants stocked.
“We’re honored that our Caribbean Jerk Sauce was awarded Sauce of the Year,” said Zach McLeroy, Co-Founder and CEO of Zaxby’s. “To hear that others enjoyed it as much as we loved making it sweetens this victory for both GSF and Zaxby’s even more. We’re thankful for our continued partnership in bringing this sauce to life.”
Founded in 1926, ADS represents international manufacturers of salad dressings, mayonnaise, condiment sauces, and suppliers to the industry. Brian Dick, GSF Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, currently serves as Chair of the ADS Board of Directors.