Is Sriracha discontinued? One of the most well-known spicy sauce brands in the U.S. is Sriracha. In 2022, when word of a Sriracha shortage first spread, a few fans of the spicy chili sauce falsely claimed it had been withdrawn from sale. Similar claims are currently being circulated online in 2023. Has Sriracha hot sauce been discontinued from the market? No, Sriracha hot chili sauce has not been discontinued. However, availability is still limited across the country due to a prolonged chili pepper shortage.
This summer, the Sriracha shortage is causing concern among sauce devotees worldwide. One of the most well-known Sriracha producers in America stated that there would still be a restricted quantity available. Shoppers who were searching for those full-bodied red bottles with signature green caps might be disappointed.
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About Sriracha Sauce
Sriracha is a type of spicy sauce or chili sauce. It is created from a paste of chili peppers, distilled vinegar, pickled garlic, sugar, and salt. In the village of Si Racha (or Sriracha), Thailand, a Thai woman by the name of Thanom Chakkapak created the sauce for the first time in the 1940s.
Sriracha is a popular dipping sauce in Thailand, especially for seafood and omelets. Sriracha is a condiment that is used with pho, fried noodles, spring rolls, and sauces in Vietnamese cuisine. Sriracha is also served on eggs, burgers, and soup. The sauce has been used to make jams, lollipops, and cocktails. Also, the sriracha-flavored potato chips have been sold.
Who manufactures Sriracha?
Sriracha is commonly used to refer to a sauce made by Huy Fong Foods in the U.S. Because there is a rooster on the bottle, it is sometimes called “rooster sauce” or “cock sauce.” In the U.S. market, more Sriracha varieties have emerged. One such Sriracha is a kind that has been aged in whisky barrels. Early in the 1980s, Huy Fong Foods began making Sriracha for use in meals at pho restaurants in America.
Sriracha, a chili sauce of Thai origins, is sold under the brand name Huy Fong’s Sriracha Sauce. Huy Fong Foods, a company based in California, makes this sauce. Vietnam-born Chinese immigrant David Tran founded it in 1980. Sriracha is identified by its bright red color and unique bottle design. It is made of clear plastic and has a green cap.
Huy Fong Foods temporarily stopped making Sriracha sauce in June 2022. This choice was made in response to a significant shortage of chili peppers. The shortages were brought on by a drought in Mexico that damaged the peppers’ quality. Manufacturing quickly resumed in the fall. However, the firm immediately announced an “unprecedented inventory shortage” in April 2023. The business did not indicate when it might be resolved.
The manufacturer issued a supply warning
In 2022, finding bottles of the popular Sriracha hot sauce on supermarket shelves was challenging. Huy Fong Inc., situated in Southern California, informed consumers via email that it will stop selling its renowned hot sauce over the summer. This information came due to the shortage of chili peppers.
In an email sent on April 19, 2022, the business stated that all purchases received after that date would be shipped after Labor Day. The company stated,
“Unfortunately, this is beyond our control. Without this vital ingredient, we are unable to make any of our products.”
The company reported that weather conditions are harming the quality of the peppers. Thus, it is worsening the chili pepper shortage. The company receives its peppers from several farms in California, New Mexico, and Mexico. Reporters sent an email for comment at that time, but it didn’t react right away.
California’s agriculture has been suffering greatly. It is a result of the nation’s extreme heat and historic drought in the West of the United States. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, in June 2022, the whole state was experiencing a “severe drought.” There is an “extreme drought” in the Central Valley.
Is Sriracha hot sauce being discontinued?
According to research by Instacart, Sriracha is the most widely used hot sauce in the entire nation. According to data from Instacart, Sriracha is the most popular hot sauce in 31 states, including almost all of the western part of the country.
Some Sriracha lovers started claiming on social media that the well-known hot chili sauce had been completely discontinued. This happened when rumors of a shortage spread around the U.S.
Sriracha spicy chili sauce is still available. But, due to a “severe” shortage of chili peppers, production has been put on hold.
Huy Fong Foods, Inc. is the company that makes Sambal Oelek, Chili Garlic Sauce, and Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce. As mentioned above, it informed its clients via email on April 19. It has halted production of all of its sauces owing to a “severe” scarcity of chili peppers mentioned in that email. The business added that on July 24, 2020, there had previously been a scarcity of chili pepper stock.
According to the business, any orders placed on or after April 19 will be shipped in the order they were received on September 6, 2022. Customers who placed orders but have not yet received confirmation will likewise be put on hold until September, according to the email.
“We understand that this could lead to problems. However, we will not take any more orders until September. It’s because we will not have adequate inventory to complete your order,” the business stated.
The management of Huy Fong Foods informed VERIFY that its chilis are farmed in Mexico. The best conditions for growing chili peppers are typically mild. It should have ideal daytime temperatures for the plants, falling between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
The business informed VERIFY, “We are still working to find a solution to this issue that has been created through various falling events.” This includes unexpected crop failures from the spring chili harvest. “We predict a successful fall season. Meanwhile, we appreciate our customers’ patience and ongoing support during this trying time,” the company said.
The Richmond, Kentucky-based Brady’s Sushi and Hibachi recently informed customers on social media that Sriracha would no longer be offered as a free condiment. Thus, there would be a limit on spicy mayo until the supply issue was remedied.
Brady claimed in a follow-up post that it had an outpouring of Sriracha after its announcement. This is due to generous customers who purchased some at nearby grocery stores and dropped them off at the restaurant.
Regarding the current retail effects of the Sriracha scarcity, VERIFY contacted many major grocery store chains. This includes Wegmans, Albertsons, H-E-B, Walmart, and Walmart. However, no response has been received.
What is happening in 2023?
According to Huy Fong Foods, Inc., limited production of its well-known hot chili sauce has recently resumed. This occurred a year after a shortage of chili peppers forced a temporary suspension of production. Because of that supply chain problem, Sriracha is still in short supply across the nation.
“Unfortunately, there is still a raw material shortage here. As of right now, we are unable to predict when supplies will increase.” Huy Fong Foods wrote this in a July 2023 email to VERIFY.
People throughout the country are still attempting to get the beloved hot chili sauce despite the ongoing shortage. Prices for Sriracha are rapidly rising on websites like Amazon, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace. The prices per bottle range from $20 to $120.
On July 5, 2023, Huy Fong Foods announced that it was difficult to predict when Sriracha would return to store shelves. Also, which retailers currently have the product in stock?
Huy Fong Foods stated, “We appreciate your continued understanding and patience as we work through this unusual inventory issue. We are currently working to prevent more shortages.”
Sriracha is currently quite costly
You might not be happy with your search for spicy sauce to keep you stocked in the interim. The cost of the available supply of Sriracha has increased drastically online since the news of the shortage arose.
Resellers are selling Sriracha on Amazon for as much as $99 for a pair of 17-ounce bottles. Additionally, eBay has much worse prices. A reseller is currently asking $150 for just one bottle.
Either way, Huy Fong Foods resolves its dispute with Ventura County’s Underwood Ranches. Otherwise, these are the new Sriracha prices for the time being. But it’s impossible to predict how long the current shortage will endure.
Spice enthusiasts have been forced to look for alternatives or pay higher costs for the popular sauce. It’s because the shortage has lasted for more than a year with no end in sight.
Bottles often cost less than $10 before the shortage. Those who are lucky enough to have access to the sauce now that it is in short supply are expecting a cash boon. The prices of a two-pack of 17-ounce Huy Fong Sriracha bottles on Amazon ($123.99) and a single 28-ounce bottle on eBay ($69.99) are particularly egregious examples.
Some sauce lovers resort to drastic measures when things get tough. SFGate reported earlier that some customers had stolen the bottles from restaurants due to the shortage. Bottles of the condiment have been disappearing from tables, Senor Sisig’s operations manager, Mariel Edwards, told the newspaper. Senor Sisig is a Filipino-fusion restaurant in San Francisco. “They literally disappear,” she claimed.
Finally, if you have a couple of bottles stashed away in your refrigerator or pantry, you should consider yourself really fortunate. At this moment, we can only advise you to savor the spice.
Here’s how the shortage might have been stopped
The sriracha shortage at Huy Fong Foods has persisted for three years. However, it hasn’t yet found a solution. So, customers are still looking for popular hot sauce alternatives.
Gary Nabhan is an agricultural ecologist and professor emeritus at the University of Arizona. According to him, “climate change is the ultimate driver, but it’s also how we manage the water equitably.”
Last year, the business expressed anticipation for a better fall harvest. But it was insufficient to alleviate the strain.
Many supermarkets across the country are out of stock of Huy Fong Foods’ Sriracha. It’s due to strained supplier relationships and unfavorable agricultural conditions. On third-party marketplaces like Amazon, bottles of the hot sauce were selling for a high price.
For 28 years, Huy Fong Foods received its peppers from Craig Underwood’s Ventura County, California, farm, Underwood Ranches. Underwood said to CNBC that if he had still been the company’s supplier, he could have met the demand.
The long-standing partnership between the maker and supplier came to an end. This happened after a dispute between the two sides resulted in a legal struggle that started in 2017. According to Huy Fong Foods, it overpaid Underwood Ranches for its 2016 harvest.
“We were making investments for the harvest next year and beyond. So, we considered that to be truly our money. David Tran, the founder of Huy Fong, however, chose to sue us as a result. We fought when he did,” said Underwood.
Meanwhile, despite having a contract with Underwood Ranches for its 2017 crop supply, the business began contracting with new farmers.
“In the end, Craig Underwood received a $23 million verdict from a Ventura County jury right in his yard. But he also had to reimburse David Tran for the $1.5 million that Huy Fong claims they overpaid.” This is according to Jane Wells, a special correspondent for CNBC who covers California agribusiness. Huy Fong Foods declined the interview request from CNBC.
According to reports, Huy Fong Foods now buys its peppers from farms in Mexico, New Mexico, and California. However, during the past few years, a large portion of the region has faced drought and unfavorable weather, which have hurt agriculture.
Underwood claimed he has been yielding superb peppers for the past few years. However, the southwestern part of North America experiences a wide range of climatic circumstances.
Stephanie Walker is an extension vegetable specialist at New Mexico State University. According to him, “I think that’s one of the reasons that the relationship with Underwood kind of fell apart. It sounds like the manufacturing facility felt they could get cheaper jalapenos on the fresh, open market. And occasionally, if there are plenty of jalapenos available, you might get away with it. It is, yet, impossible when fresh crops, such as jalapenos, are few.”
When will the Sriracha shortage end?
You may recall that similar shortages occurred during the epidemic due to supply chain problems. Unfortunately, there will likely be another shortage of Sriracha hot sauce in the near future.
The COVID-19 epidemic made it difficult to manage supply chains for various items across many sectors. The makers of the renowned Sriracha sauce, Huy Fong, Inc., also experienced identical issues. They were able to resume manufacturing at a pretty regular pace in the fall of 2022. Many people believed that the Sriracha shortage was at its worst.
The manufacturers of Sriracha are still experiencing some ongoing supply chain problems. This is according to the most recent information on the scarcity.
The main issue is Mexico’s ongoing drought, which is making it harder to find chili peppers. Customers are suffering the effects of this situation. It’s because Sriracha is lacking in brick-and-mortar stores. Also, online retailers often state that the suppliers are unsure when the product will be supplied.
There is simply no way to predict when the Sriracha shortage will end. It’s because the drought is the main source of the shortage. When Huy Fong Inc., the supplier, will be able to resume producing the sauce at full capacity is unknown.
However, while the Sriracha hot sauce shortage persists, we have put together a few alternatives to keep you over until your favorite sauce is once again available. Read on to find the alternatives.
Alternatives to Sriracha that will lessen your suffering in the interim
If you enjoy spicy condiments, you’ve likely noticed the recent Sriracha scarcity. It has been causing havoc on the shelves of your local supermarket. We have several Sriracha alternatives to keep you satisfied until it is resolved.
Made-at-Home Hot Sauce:
Sriracha itself doesn’t contain a lot of complicated elements. With the correct peppers and a food processor, it is quite simple to make at home. The Scoville Heat Scale is a scale used to gauge how spicy food is. Sriracha is rated between 1,000 and 2,500. By varying the type and quantity of chili peppers and other ingredients, you can replicate the flavor or make your homemade sauce spicier.
Conventional spicy sauces:
Even though they might not have Sriracha’s same flavor profile, traditional hot sauces still add heat to your favorite dishes. Try traditional brands like Louisiana Hot Sauce, Tapatio, or Tabasco. There are various spice varieties in each of these. For instance, the Scoville scale for Tabasco starts at 2,500 and goes up to 5,000 for various sauce types. These three common condiments are a great way to amp up the heat even more than Sriracha.
Hot Sauce with Carrot and Pepper:
Splash Cafe in Pismo Beach, California, has been known for its clam chowder virtually since 1991. But you’ll be more interested in their carrot pepper hot sauce if you want to make up for the lack of Sriracha sauce. This medium-hot sauce made from a blend of red serrano chiles and Bulgarian carrot peppers has a vibrant orange color. It shouts to be drizzled over eggs, steak, clam chowder, tacos, and anything else you want to add flavor and heat to.
Why is the production of Sriracha so limited? Is it because of a single factor?
Due to a problem with the production of the chilis essential to making Sriracha, there is currently a shortage of the spicy sauce. You won’t find any bottles on the grocery store shelves without this ingredient.
A years-long shortage of chilis has hampered production and resulted in certain shortages. This is according to CNN. Huy Fong Foods, the company that produces the rooster-adorned bottled sauce, is coping with this issue.
However, the issue extends beyond the availability of the chilies themselves. It is due to the company’s long and problematic relationship with the Ventura County-based Underwood Ranches food company.
The company uses this source to get the 50,000 tons of chilies it needs annually to make the addicting sauce. This is according to the Los Angeles Times. Huy Fong lost millions of dollars due to a “bitter” contract dispute.
It’s unknown whether or not the business will look for distributors of other types of chili. So, it can increase output or simply wait for the supply.
Huy Fong has recently blamed the scarcity of chili peppers on climate change also to a catastrophic drought that destroyed Mexico’s jalapeno farms. Despite this fact, Stephanie Walker, a chile pepper researcher at New Mexico State University, commented on this issue. She said that this year’s growing conditions were better. She went on to say that Huy Fong might not have enough contracts with various farmers. This could be the reason for their supply issues.
The owner of Underwood Ranches, Craig Underwood, claimed he had no trouble obtaining jalapenos from Mexico. Underwood Ranches now produces its own Sriracha.
Thankfully, the widely recognized sauce has not been discontinued. However, there is a severe shortage occurring all around the nation. CBS News, which spoke with Huy Fong, the company that makes Sriracha, also confirmed this.
According to the source, “a Huy Fong official recently told CBS News that limited production had just recently resumed. The spokesman stated that the company was still dealing with a restricted supply. However, it did not indicate how limited the production was or when it had resumed.
We truly believe that this brief update on the Sriracha shortages has helped you better understand the issues. Also, you could have gotten an idea of when it might end and what you should do in the interim. You’re thinking, “Okay, but why was the production initially limited?” Us too!