America faces new bottlenecks in Sriracha

Shortages have rocked grocery stores in recent years as supply chain problems, poor weather conditions and the war in Ukraine have devastated a number of staples. Now another popular item will become increasingly difficult to find on store shelves.

Huy Fong Foods, Inc., the Southern California-based company that makes one of the most popular brands of sriracha chili sauce, recently said it was facing an “unprecedented inventory shortage” of its beloved condiment United States today. This has led to some retailers placing purchase restrictions on the product, which is widely recognized by its tap logo and green-topped squeeze bottle.

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Supply problems have plagued Huy Fong Foods for some time. Last June, the company confirmed a previous “unprecedented shortage” of its products, citing several causes including “unexpected crop failures in the spring chili crop.” The hot sauce giant sources its chili peppers from Mexico, where drought conditions reduced the crop’s production.

Two months earlier, Huy Fong Foods had written to buyers alerting buyers to the “serious shortage of chilli” and that it would not be able to produce Chili Garlic, Sambal Oelek and Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce. The company added that orders placed on or after April 19, 2022 would be scheduled after September 6, 2022.

Sriracha bottle
The Picture Party / Shutterstock

While some sriracha production resumed last fall, Huy Fong Foods said there are still supply issues affecting production. “At this time we have no estimates as to when supply will increase,” the company wrote in a statement United States today.

Huy Fong Foods Sriracha is made from sun-ripened chillies that have been blended into a paste with sugar, salt, garlic and distilled vinegar. Commonly associated with Vietnamese pho, the iconic spice is often paired with meat, seafood, vegetables, pasta and eggs, among numerous other dishes. The company has been reported to process 100 million pounds of chili peppers to make 20 million bottles of sriracha a year.

A hot sauce with such widespread appeal, Huy Fong’s absence from shelves is felt among fans.

“I didn’t think Sriracha deficiency would hit me so badly,” one person said tweeted. “Life hasn’t been the same since the Sriracha shortage,” another Twitter user said wrote.

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