Why we reformulated our hot chilli sauce?

At Steric, we’ve reformulated our Sunshine Hot Chilli sauce after listening to feedback from the foodservice market. Our customers, particularly those who own and operate kebab shops in Australia told us our Hot Chilli sauce needed some tweaks including halal certification to be included on their order list.

As well as the halal certification, we also realise that Australian tastes are shifting with many people developing a more adventurous palate as we are exposed to more international cuisine, particularly Asian food.

So, we got our product development team on the case to reformulate our existing chilli sauce product. We’ve tweaked the flavour and made it thicker to suit a range of cuisines served in Australian foodservice outlets.

We thought you’d also enjoy learning about the difference between hot sauce v chilli sauce, the history of chilli sauce, and how it’s enjoyed around the world.

The difference between hot sauce and hot chilli sauce

Hot sauce is a generic term for any sauce that is hot, whereas chilli sauce is a ‘hot’ sauce made from chillies specifically. However, many products that are called hot sauces are actually chilli sauces as well. Hot sauce is also a term more commonly used outside Australia, although it is gaining some traction.

In Australia, we tend to describe hot sauces as those that are very liquid and come in a shaker-style small bottle, whereas chilli sauce is thicker and comes in a bottle to be poured or squeezed like our Sunshine Hot Chilli Sauce.

History of chilli sauce

The original chilli plants are native to Central America so it’s not surprising that this is where chilli sauce was originally developed by the Aztecs. It is believed that chilli was one of the earliest plants to be cultivated by humans. Archaeologists have found evidence of its use by the Aztecs as far back as 7000 BC.

Experts concur that the very first chilli sauce was simply ground-up chilies mixed with water and herbs. Evidence has been found to suggest that the Aztecs used it to enhance the flavour of their food, for medicinal purposes, to pay taxes, to give tributes, and even as a weapon or punishment!

In the 16th century, the Spanish and Portuguese carried chillies to Europe which ultimately spread to Africa and Asia where different cultivars were bred.

Chilli sauce around the world

Food cultures across the globe have come up with countless ways to dry, crush, cook, smoke and pickle chillies into condiments, developing a myriad of hot sauces and pastes that enhance dishes of every kind.

A few popular highlights include:

Peri peri from Portugal

Originally produced by Portuguese explorers in Portugal’s former Southern African territories, it then spread to other Portuguese domains. It’s made from African Bird’s Eye Chillies and has been made famous by Portuguese chicken fast-food company Nando’s. Peri peri sauce varies in heat intensity and has a spicy, garlicky, tangy, and lemony flavour.

Cajun pepper sauce

These Louisiana-style hot sauces usually consist of a thin mixture of chillies, vinegar, and salt, often fermented. The most famous brand, Tabasco is made from red peppers (chillies), salt and vinegar.


Sriracha is a classic combination of chillies, sugar, salt, garlic and vinegar. It originated in Thailand but is now enjoyed in many countries throughout Asia and beyond. It is often used in Vietnamese cooking to spice up the popular noodle soup called Pho.


Popular in north Africa, Harissa is an aromatic and thick chilli paste used as a flavour enhancer throughout the region. It is a blend of Serrano chillies, garlic, cumin, coriander and olive oil and is used as a stock base, for basting, spread over fish or meat before grilling or tossed through roasted potatoes.

Australian-made Hot Chilli Sauce

Steric’s reformulated Hot Chilli Sauce is gluten-free, Halal-certified, contains no artificial colours or preservatives and is made in Australia by a family-owned company.

Steric produces a range of Sunshine brand sauces for the foodservice industry including Tomato, BBQ, Soy, Worcestershire, Hickory Smoked BBQ, Hot Chilli and Sweet Chilli.

The reformulated Sunshine Hot Chilli Sauce is available in a three-litre pack. It can be ordered via Steric’s distributors. Contact Steric at https://www.steric.com.au/contact-us/ or 1800 008 155.