Huy Fong Foods’ Sriracha Sauce Shortage Could Be on the Way — Here’s Why

By Trisha Andrada

May 09, 2024 09:47 AM EDT

Huy Fong Foods has suspended the manufacturing of Sriracha, a beloved chili sauce, after discovering that the supply of spicy peppers was inadequate due to the harsh climate. 

Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce is bottled at the Huy Fong Foods plant on May 14, 2014 in Irwindale, California. (Photo : David McNew/Getty Images)

Huy Fong Foods Stops the Production of Sriracha Sauce Until After Labor Day

In a letter sent to wholesale buyers this week, which USA Today acquired, the California hot sauce maker said their supply of chili was too green and may change the color of the finished product. 

The company added that it decided to halt production until after Labor Day, or September 2, "when our next chili season starts." 

According to the Washington Post, the red winter jalapeños used in Huy Fong Foods' sriracha recipe are found mostly in northern regions of Mexico and flourish in cold temperatures below 80 degrees.

New York Post reported that experts warned that a drought in Mexico might make peppers taste bland.

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Harsh Climate Reduces Jalapeño Supply

Climate scientist Guillermo Murray-Tortarolo said that the severe weather has caused almost no production of jalapeños, a problem that may continue for the rest of the year. 

He added that the impact of an extreme weather event in this specific case highlights the gravity of the issue. The solution to the problem is more complex than just switching out the ingredients. 

The flavor will change if Huy Fong Foods substitutes another kind of pepper for the red winter jalapeños, which they use 50,000 tons each year.

"When companies have tried to make it with other types of jalapeños, it just doesn't have the same flavor and consumers don't like it," Murray-Tortarolo said, according to The Washington Post.

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