Aggie-branded products expand with Pete’s Most Wanted Salsa

By Tatiana Favela - New Mexico State University

LAS CRUCES - Ready to spice things up, New Mexico State University is adding another licensed product to its list and it’s bringing the heat. Pete’s Most Wanted Salsa made its debut and hit the shelves in September 2022.

A launch party officially introducing the Aggie-branded salsa is set to take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, at La Posta de Mesilla.

In collaboration with Young Guns Hatch Valley Chile, the salsa is described as having great flavor made with a few simple ingredients: garlic salt, tomato, and world-famous Hatch green chile, which gives it a unique and fresh taste.

“The salsa we make is from natural ingredients and the green chile being the most important part of the recipe is what we are most proud of,” said Chris Franzoy, president of Young Guns Hatch Valley Chile. “My great-grandparents were among the first to plant chile peppers in Hatch, New Mexico, and are responsible for pioneering the brand. They would harvest the peppers after they turned red, dry them on the hillside, pack the sundried peppers in a paper bag and deliver them to neighboring towns by horse and buggy. Today, the Franzoy family continues to grow the majority of the Hatch peppers that are marketed in the country.”

In June 2021, NM State Athletics spearheaded a salsa-tasting contest that had a panel of judges taste-test, vote, and select a winner to be the official NMSU salsa brand. Franzoy submitted a sample and learned later that the green chile salsa recipe had won.

“We were all excited and couldn’t wait to start production on the new Pete’s Most Wanted Salsa,” Franzoy said.

Mario Moccia, director of NM State athletics, said it’s important to continue partnering with alumni to create licensed products while supporting local businesses. He added all the licensing revenue goes to support the needs of 400 student-athletes at NMSU, helping to offset the costs of everything from tuition and books to living expenses and nutrition.

"It provides a great branding opportunity for NMSU as an institution,” Moccia said. “We will sell this product to all alumni across New Mexico and the nation via internet sales.”

In Las Cruces, you can find Pete’s Most Wanted Salsa at FARMesilla, a certified one-stop shop for all Aggie-branded products. Online, you can place your order at Fans will be notified when the salsa is added and available at other locations.