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Chico Requena of the Malaga-based company Spicyx. Ñito Salas
A product launch with a difference: the first spicy sauce to go into space was stamped 'Made in Malaga'
Food and drink

A product launch with a difference: the first spicy sauce to go into space was stamped 'Made in Malaga'

Spicyx launched a jar of jalapeño sauce into the stratosphere to prove its products are "from another world"

Juan Soto

Malaga

Tuesday, 2 April 2024, 20:52

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Just last Sunday, at 5pm, on the US-Mexico border, a jar of hot sauce took off into space. No, this is no joke nor journalistic licence. It was a challenge set, and now achieved, by the Malaga-based company Spicyx. They were so convinced that their sauces are from another world that they have now launched them into space.

The launch took place at Monterrey, a border city chosen by the company's managers because Mexico is the birthplace of the hot pepper and the USA is the world's largest consumer of this product. The Malaga-made jar of jalapeño sauce went up in a 3-metre wide helium balloon that grew to nine metres wide because of the atmospheric pressure, reaching the stratosphere at over 40,000 metres high.

After more than two hours of going up, the balloon burst and the jar returned to Earth. It was later recovered by those in charge of finding it in some inhospitable spot in the state of Nueva León in Mexico. It will now be handed over to the UAPO cancer patients' support foundation to be auctioned off for charity. To complete the challenge, 40,000 jars of the spicy sauce will be given away, one for every metre reached in space by that jar.

Moment of the launch of the jar into space.
Moment of the launch of the jar into space. SUR

The person behind the space launch idea is the entrepreneur Chicho Requena, who envisaged it as a really cool, promotional stunt. It came up during a conversation with his ten-year-old son Hermes:

- If it's a sauce from another planet, why not send it into space?

An innocent question that in any other family would have gone unnoticed, but the idea started turning around in Chicho's mind.....

- Can this be done?

And so he set to work until he found Bxpace, a space-related advertising company that promised to make his wish come true. "The only problem I had was that the launch would be in a very tricky, risky area, so we had to go armed with bodyguards and even snake anti-venom" says this Malaga-born businessman.

The jar floated up to a height of 40,253 metres.
The jar floated up to a height of 40,253 metres. SUR

Spicyx started up in July 2022, although their first hot sauce was launched only nine months ago. The first of these was the jalapeño sauce that they launched into space, although they now have six different products. Unlike other brands, the one created by Requena is looking for a new customer profile. "We want to be a regularly-used spice for people who don't like spicy seasonings".

After working in different hot sauce companies, the entrepreneur realised that all sauces compete to see which one is the hottest. He recalled that when he proposed making a flavour that was less spicy, nobody paid any attention to him and they almost took him for being crazy. And so it is now that he has created his own product. "The best comments are the ones that say to me 'I thought I didn't like spicy'".

Spicyx has product lines of barbecue, mustard and ketchup with a light touch of heat and three more of jalapeño, habanero and sriracha, with a little more heat. Single jars cost 9.90 euros and they sell all their products online, although they are already negotiating with a large national distribution chain to put it on store shelves.

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