A fusion of sweet and spicy, chamoy epitomizes the depth of Mexican cuisine. This versatile sauce has found its way into the hearts of many in the US. However, a gap existed in the market for those seeking a sugar-free variant of this beloved condiment. Enter Annie Leal and her creation, “I Love Chamoy.” After a memorable pitch on Shark Tank, I Love Chamoy is worth an estimated $3 million.
Annie Leal’s Story
Annie Leal’s story resonated with Mexicans who have health issues but crave food that reminds them of home. Annie’s family hail from Monterrey, Mexico but after immigrating to the US, her father was diagnosed with diabetes.
As a result, he was forced to change his diet. He stocked a lot of healthy treats in a cabinet and wasn’t able to find sugar-free Mexican sweets in any stores. The Monterrey native searched online but couldn’t find anything suitable. Leal eventually launched her own snack and the first thing that came to mind was her favourite, chamoy.
Founding I Love Chamoy
At that time, Annie was working as a social media manager for a culinary engineer, whom she asked for help developing her new product. After making 44 prototypes in six months, they finally launched I Love Chamoy in late 2021.
They used monk fruit, a natural sweetener that contains no calories. Annie documented her startup’s journey on TikTok and used the platform to sell 750 bottles in her first production run. TikTok has played a key role and the company has over 420,000 followers.
Her audience advised her to remove the synthetic food colouring, and Leal listened. She went back to the drawing board with her business partner, and they decided to use hibiscus for their next run. Leal applied to Shark Tank in early 2023 and made it through the intense screening process.
After Shark Tank
The episode aired in October 2023 and the publicity from Shark Tank should help them surpass their $4 million sales target for the year. Annie only found out a few weeks ago that her episode would air and is working hard to ensure she can fulfill orders. Turning down Kevin’s offer was the right decision, she doesn’t need a Shark and got free advertising.
If you want something sugar-free to sweeten up your food and beverages, you can visit ILoveChamoy.com and pay $35 for a bottle. Another way to purchase online is through their Amazon and TikTok stores. They’re already sold out on Amazon but are in over 200 H-E-B locations.
You can choose from three flavours: Original, Chili Mango, and Pickle. Each bottle costs $12, but you can buy packs of three and six to save some bucks. I Love Chamoy has an average of 4.8 stars from over 1,300 reviews on their website. According to I Love Chamoy’s TikTok, they are working on a new flavour, spicy watermelon. The company has moved shipping and handling to a new warehouse for this project.