Herdez is a popular brand of salsa and Mexican food products sold in grocery stores across the United States. Many people assume that because Herdez makes Mexican food, their products must be made in Mexico. However, this is not necessarily the case. In this article, we will examine the history of the Herdez brand and look at where their salsa and other products are actually manufactured.
History of the Herdez Company
The Herdez Company was founded in 1914 by Don Francisco Hernandez in Mexico City, Mexico. Don Francisco started out selling canned peppers, vegetables, and guacamole. The company was family-owned and operated for nearly 100 years in Mexico.
In the 1990s and 2000s, Herdez purchased a number of other Mexican food brands including La Victoria, McCormick de Mexico, and Barilla Mexico. This expansion made Herdez one of the largest Mexican food manufacturers in the world.
In 2000, Herdez was acquired by the American food company McCormick. McCormick kept the Herdez brand name and continues to market their products as an “authentic” Mexican food brand.
Where is Herdez Salsa Manufactured Today?
When McCormick acquired the Herdez brand, manufacturing of the salsa was moved from Mexico to plants in the United States. Most Herdez salsa today is made at McCormick factories in California, Maryland, and Illinois.
The ingredients in Herdez salsa are sourced from various locations. The tomatoes and peppers may come from U.S. farms or be imported from Mexico. Onions, cilantro, and other ingredients are sourced from farms near the manufacturing facilities.
So while the recipes for Herdez salsa may be based on authentic Mexican recipes, the actual production and manufacturing of the salsas take place in the United States rather than Mexico today.
Why is Herdez Salsa No Longer Made in Mexico?
There’s a few likely reasons why Herdez salsa shifted from being manufactured in Mexico to plants in the U.S.:
– Reduced Importing and Transportation Costs: When the salsa is made in the U.S. rather than Mexico, McCormick saves on import taxes, tariffs, and shipping costs to bring the products over the border. This makes the salsas more profitable.
– Convenience of Centralized Manufacturing: Making all Herdez brand products including salsa at company-owned factories allows McCormick to control and standardize the production more than outsourcing or partners in Mexico.
– Regulations and Food Safety: Food safety regulations for salsa plants in the U.S. may be stricter than Mexico, leading to the shift in manufacturing locations.
– Consumer Perception: Some consumers perceive products “Made in the USA” as higher quality or safer than Mexican-made goods. Shifting production may make the salsa appeal to a wider demographic.
So in summary, while Herdez salsa continues to be marketed under a strong Mexican brand name, economic and logistical factors led the manufacturing process to be moved out of Mexico after McCormick acquired the brand.
Does Herdez Salsa Taste Different?
Whenever a popular food product changes the way it is made, it raises questions around whether the taste or quality has changed.
In the case of Herdez salsa, most reviews indicate that the taste has remained consistent since production moved from Mexico to the U.S. McCormick seems to have replicated the original recipes and flavors accurately.
Some salsa aficionados claim the American-made Herdez products use cheaper ingredients that affect flavor. And the freshest, ripest tomatoes for salsa may still come from Mexico. But for most everyday consumers, Herdez salsa tastes the same whether it says “Hecho en Mexico” or “Made in USA”.
Herdez Salsa Product Line Overview
Now that we’ve covered the background, let’s take a look at the different types of salsa made under the Herdez brand:
Herdez Salsa Casera
Herdez Salsa Casera comes in mild, medium, and hot varieties. It has a smooth, pourable tomato-based sauce made from tomatoes, onions, peppers, cilantro, salt, and spices. It is made in California.
Herdez Salsa Verde
Herdez Green Salsa is a tomatillo-based salsa made with tomatillos, jalapeño peppers, cilantro, onion, garlic, and lime juice. It has a tangy, bright flavor and medium spiciness. The green salsa is made in Illinois.
Herdez Salsa Taquera
Herdez Taquera Salsa is a chunkier-style salsa with diced tomatoes, peppers, onion, cilantro, and lime juice. It is spicier than the casera salsa. The taquera salsa is made in Maryland.
Herdez Guacamole Salsa
This salsa combines avocado, lime juice, tomatillos, onions, cilantro, and serrano peppers to make a guacamole-style dipping salsa. It is made in California.
Herdez Salsa Ranchera
Herdez Ranchera Salsa is cooked and blended with peppers, tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, and spices. The thicker salsa ranchera has a bold, smoky flavor. It is made in Maryland.
Other Herdez Products
In addition to their signature salsas, Herdez makes a number of other Mexican foods and condiments:
– Refried beans
– Queso dip
– Taco sauce
– Enchilada sauce
– Pickled jalapeños
– Canned chipotle peppers
Most of these additional Mexican food products are made in the same U.S. factories as the salsas. However, some items like the corn tortillas may still be produced in Mexico and imported.
Herdez Salsa Nutrition Facts
Herdez salsas are made with simple, natural ingredients like tomatoes, onions, peppers, and cilantro. Here is a nutrition breakdown for a typical 2 tablespoon serving of Herdez medium salsa casera:
– 15 calories
– 3g carbs
– 1g fiber
– 1g sugar
– 0g fat
– 140mg sodium
As you can see, it’s low in calories, fat, and sugar. The main nutritional considerations are the sodium content and Vitamin C from the tomatoes and peppers.
Overall, Herdez salsa is a nutritious, guilt-free way to add big Mexican flavor to any meal.
Where to Buy Herdez Salsa
Herdez salsa is sold at most major supermarkets nationwide. Popular grocery store chains that carry Herdez salsa include:
– Sam’s Club
You can find it in the Mexican food aisle, condiment section, or sometimes near the fresh salsa refrigerated cases. Herdez salsa is typically sold in glass bottles or jars ranging from 12 oz to 64 oz.
Many online grocery delivery services like Instacart also carry Herdez salsas for convenience.
Herdez Salsa Recipes
Herdez salsa can be used in all kinds of delicious recipes beyond just dipping chips. Here are some popular ways to cook with Herdez salsa:
Spread salsa on tortillas before filling with cheese and grilled.
Mix salsa into the filling and pour over the top of enchiladas before baking.
Top meat in tacos with salsa or serve salsa on the side.
Fry tortilla wedges then simmer in salsa and top with eggs.
Use salsa as the sauce on Mexican pizzas.
Whisk salsa with oil and lime juice for a tangy dressing.
Add salsa for flavor to beef or vegetarian chilis.
Drizzle salsa over cheese nachos right out of the oven.
Any Mexican rice or beans also benefits from mixing in Herdez salsa. Be creative and add salsa punch to pasta, sandwiches, dips, and more.
Is Herdez Salsa Gluten Free?
Herdez salsas are labeled as gluten-free. They do not contain any wheat, barley, rye or other gluten-containing ingredients.
However, people with celiac disease or serious gluten intolerance should note that Herdez products are made on shared equipment that also processes foods containing gluten. There is a chance of cross-contact.
So Herdez salsa would be safe for many gluten-sensitive people who can tolerate small amounts of cross-contact. But people with celiac disease may want to exercise caution.
Does Herdez Contain MSG?
Herdez salsas do not contain added MSG (monosodium glutamate). MSG is sometimes used as a flavor enhancer in processed foods but is left out of Herdez products.
A small amount of free glutamates may be present naturally from ingredients like tomatoes and peppers. But Herdez salsa has no added MSG.
Comparing Herdez Salsa to Other Brands
How does Herdez salsa stack up against other leading salsa brands? Here’s a brief comparison:
Pace – Pace thick, chunky salsa is made with USA-grown ingredients. It has added vinegar for tang.
Tostitos – Smooth, thin salsa good for dipping chips. Mild flavor from tomato puree base.
Chi-Chi’s – Made with imported Mexican ingredients for robust flavor. Lots of chunks.
Newman’s Own – Organic, low-sodium recipe. Roasted peppers and spices.
Herdez – Authentic Mexican flavors. More natural versus vinegary taste.
When it comes to taste and quality, most salsa fans rank Herdez as superior to mass market brands like Pace and Tostitos. It offers bolder, fresher, more restaurant-style flavor.
Among Mexican restaurant brands, Herdez holds its own against Chi-Chi’s and Ortega. It offers comparable authenticity for less cost.
Compared to organic brands like Newman’s Own, Herdez has bigger flavor punch without the organic price tag. Though it does use more conventional ingredients.
Overall, Herdez delivers excellent taste, texture, and versatility at a reasonable price point. It remains a top choice for authentic Mexican cuisine.
Customer Reviews of Herdez Salsa
Most customer reviews of Herdez salsa are overwhelmingly positive. Here are a few excerpts that represent the general consumer consensus:
“This salsa is so fresh and flavorful – it’s better than any I could make myself from scratch!”
“Herdez salsa is the most authentic tasting Mexican salsa I’ve found that’s readily available in normal supermarkets. It has just the right amount of kick with great tomato flavor.”
“I don’t know what makes it so good but this is my absolutely favorite salsa. Whenever I see it on sale I stock up.”
“I grew up in Texas and Herdez salsa tastes just like the kind you get in legit Tex-Mex restaurants there. Great on everything from eggs to tacos.”
“This salsa is spicy but flavorful. You can tell it’s made with quality ingredients not just hot peppers and chemicals like some other brands.”
The main complaints involve mildness (easily fixed by choosing medium or hot varieties) and price compared to cheaper U.S. brands.
But overall, most salsa lovers find Herdez products deliver excellent, restaurant-quality flavor for the price.
So is Herdez salsa made in Mexico? Not anymore. The majority of Herdez salsa sold today is manufactured at plants in the United States, though the recipes still originate from Mexico.
While no longer made south of the border, Herdez salsa continues the tradition of authentic Mexican flavors. Using a combination of both imported and American-grown ingredients, they strive to replicate the same fresh, delicious taste that made the company famous.
So while the “Hecho en Mexico” slogan on the label may be outdated, the zesty flavor inside the jar is as true to its roots as ever. For cooks looking to add bold, scratch-made salsa flavor to Tex-Mex and Mexican dishes, Herdez remains the top shelf brand.