Jun 8, 2022 - Economy

Huy Fong sriracha sauce in short supply amid chili pepper shortage

Bottle of Huy Fong Foods sriracha sauce

Huy Fong Foods said there's a shortage of chili peppers used in its sriracha sauces. Photo: Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune/Shannon Kinsella/food styling/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Huy Fong Foods is warning of a chili pepper shortage that could make it harder to spice up your meals.

The big picture: The California-based company, known for its sriracha sauces with a rooster on the bottle, confirmed to Axios via email that it is "experiencing a shortage which is affecting our production supply."

  • In an April 19 letter to customers, Huy Fong Foods said it faces a “more severe shortage of chili” because of “weather conditions affecting the quality of chili peppers.”
  • The company told Axios it gets its peppers from Mexico, which along with the western U.S., is experiencing a drought.
  • Axios found inventory for Huy Fong sriracha on Target and Walmart’s websites for in-store pickup and delivery using various zip codes across the country.
  • On Reddit, some users reported having difficulty finding sriracha in local stores or finding purchasing limits.

What they’re saying: “Unfortunately, this is out of our control and without this essential ingredient, we are unable to produce any of our products (Chili Garlic, Sambal Oelek, and Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce),” Huy Fong Foods said in its letter.

Meanwhile, Brady's Sushi and Hibachi in Richmond, Kentucky, took to Facebook and Instagram to tell its customers about the shortage.

  • The restaurant said it may “no longer provide Sriracha as a free condiment at our establishment till further notice.”
  • Brady’s also said the sauce “plays a key role in our house-made Spicy Mayo, we will start to limit 1 free Spicy Mayo per 2 rolls until we secure our resources.”
  • A day after Brady’s May 23 posts, the restaurant said in a new post that customers dropped off sriracha bottles found at a local grocery store.

Flashback: Huy Fong Foods said in its letter that it told customers in July 2020 that it was experiencing a shortage of chili pepper inventory.

What's next: The company tells Axios it hopes it "will resume production as normal" with its fall harvest.

  • The company's letter said orders submitted on or after April 19 would be scheduled after Labor Day in the order received.

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