BRENHAM, Texas - It began in a family home, in the kitchen, where togetherness naturally centers around food. The better the food, the merrier the times. It was there where the Browns, an Austin, Texas family, blended quality ingredients into beloved flavorful recipes for salad dressing and hot sauce. In 1982, as demand for these recipes increased, Del Sol Food Company was born. Del Sol eventually became BRIANNAS Fine Salad Dressings. This year, the family business celebrates its 40th anniversary.
For a limited time, BRIANNAS will be commemorating their anniversary with special edition packaging on their top five Home Style flavors, including the best-selling Rich Poppy Seed, Blush Wine Vinaigrette, Asiago Caesar, Real French Vinaigrette, and New American Creamy Balsamic. The packaging is on store shelves now, but only for a limited time.
In many ways, the BRIANNAS story hasn't changed over time; it's only grown. The number one premium salad dressing brand in the United States has accomplished a lot in the past four decades while still maintaining a close connection with its roots.
By 1984, only two years into the business, it had grown too large to stay in a family kitchen, so they moved the company to a 10,000 square foot Chappell Hill facility, less than 100 miles east of Austin. The production room only comprised a small percentage of that square footage, 480 square feet to be exact. It was intentionally kept small to allow for the continuation of a small-batch process of making the dressings and sauces.
Extremely hands-on in every sense of the word, the family made a 10-gallon batch each day. That was enough for five or six cases. Such small batches allow for greater control of proportions, resulting in a premium flavor that can be attributed to this special blending technique of high-quality ingredients. The original four home style recipes were Poppy Seed, Creamy Italian, Vinaigrette and Blue Cheese. In addition to blending batches by hand, family members and employees also chopped ingredients, filled bottles, and attached labels by hand.
“Del Sol,” meaning “of the sun,” was an apt name for a company founded in the Texas Hill Country, but it didn't adequately connote the premium quality of the brand that was continuing to grow. In 1988, the BRIANNAS brand name was born as the result of combining the names of two family members: Marianne and Brian. (The brand never had an apostrophe.)`
With a new brand name came the need for new packaging. Hiring Hively Designs from Houston for the task turned out to be an award-winning decision. The now-iconic artwork and package design conveyed the premium nature of the dressing inside and earned a prestigious CLIO advertising award.
BRIANNAS stayed in the Chappell Hill community for 22 years before expanding into a facility in nearby Brenham, Texas that was more than four times the size of the Chappell Hill facility.
In 2017, BRIANNAS was sold to the La Costeña, a privately held, family-owned company in Mexico City, Mexico under the Sabormex family of brands. La Costeña and Sabormex are globally recognized leaders in the packaged foods industry with the same commitment to quality and the centrality of food grown from small origins focusing on great tasting and innovative products that make the lives of consumers easier.
Things have moved rapidly in the past five years, despite a global pandemic. BRIANNAS launched an organic line of dressings in 2019, with five flavors to appeal to an increasingly health-aware market: Organic Honey Ginger Vinaigrette, Organic Red Wine, Organic Mango Vinaigrette, Organic Rich Poppy Seed, and Organic French Vinaigrette.
In 2020, for the first time in 32 years, BRIANNAS updated the package design. While the iconic artwork remains, the logo was updated and modernized.
By 2021, with the launch of a line of dressings made with 100% avocado oil, BRIANNAS had a portfolio of 24 flavors, an exceptional recipe feat.
“Through booms, recessions and, more recently, a global pandemic, BRIANNAS has stood the test of time simply because we have consistently made delicious salad dressings,” says Scott Eckert, president and CEO of BRIANNAS. “Customers appreciate high-quality flavor.”
On the year of the company's 40th anniversary, 2022, Nielsen reports that BRIANNAS is the #1 premium salad dressing brand in the US, the #1 organic salad dressing brand in dollar sales, the #1 Poppy Seed salad dressing, the #1 Cilantro salad dressing, and the #1 Mango salad dressing. BRIANNAS has every reason to be proud.