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St. Louis-area hot sauce company Hot Charlie's expands product distribution at Schnucks

In June, the St. Louis-based grocery chain began to carry two of Hot Charlie's frozen pizza selections
Credit: SLBJ
Hot Charlie's owner Charlie Backer with some of his company's products.

ST. LOUIS — Hot Charlie's, a St. Louis-based hot sauce and seasoning maker, has expanded its deal with Schnuck Markets to carry additional products.

In June, the St. Louis-based grocery chain began to carry two of Hot Charlie's frozen pizza selections: spicy chicken bacon ranch and spicy meat lovers.

Last month, Schnucks also began rolling out Hot Charlie's Original Hot Sauce, Hot Sauce Dust, Ranch Hot Sauce and Hot Cheddar Popcorn, according to the sauce company's owner, Charlie Backer. The products currently are available in most Schnucks stores, he said.

The Hot Cheddar Popcorn, a bagged popcorn made with real cheddar and seasoned with Hot Charlie’s Hot Sauce Dust, is co-branded with Palo Popcorn of Wisconsin, Backer said.

Before the pandemic hit, Backer's products were offered in nearly all states and at retailers such as HomeGoods. He told the Business Journal in May that the pandemic caused his national retailers to halt orders, so he was concentrating on working with a larger contract packer to reduce costs.

"With Schnucks now carrying six of Hot Charlie’s products, it’s allowed me to approach some of the larger national retailers and restart conversations," Backer said this week.  

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