Sriracha production suspended due to “severe” chili shortage

According to Huy Fong Foods, Inc., production of sriracha hot chili sauce has been suspended until September due to a “severe” shortage of chili peppers.

According to a recent Instacart report, Sriracha is the most popular hot sauce brand in the United States. Instacart data shows that sriracha is the top hot sauce in 31 states, including almost the entire western region of the country.

As news broke of a Sriracha shortage in the US, some fans of the popular hot chili sauce began making claims on social media (here and here) that it was completely discontinued.

THE QUESTION

Has Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce been discontinued?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

That's wrong.

No, Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce has not been discontinued, but production is suspended until at least September due to a “severe” shortage of chili peppers.

WHAT WE FOUND

Huy Fong Foods, Inc., the California-based company that makes Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, Sambal Oelek and Chili Garlic Sauce, shared the 19” chili pepper shortage in an email. The company also mentioned that as of July 24, 2020, it was already running out of chili pepper stocks.

“Due to weather conditions affecting the quality of chili peppers, we are now facing a more serious chili shortage. Unfortunately, this is beyond our control and we cannot make any of our products without this essential ingredient,” the email said.

The company says all orders submitted on or after April 19 will be scheduled after September 6, 2022, on a first-come, first-served basis. According to the email, customers who have placed an order but have not yet received a confirmation will also be held on hold until September.

“We understand that this can cause problems. However, during this time we will not be accepting new orders placed before September as we do not have enough inventory to fulfill your order,” the company said.

Huy Fong Foods management told VERIFY that their chilies are grown in Mexico. Chili peppers typically need mild weather to grow, with ideal daytime temperatures for the plants being between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, reports VERIFY sister station WUSA9.

In a statement, Huy Fong Foods confirmed there was an “unprecedented shortage” of its products and said spring weather conditions affected the quality of its chili peppers.

“We are still striving to resolve this issue caused by multiple spiraling events including unexpected crop failures in the spring chili crop,” the company told VERIFY. “We hope for a fruitful fall season and thank our customers for their patience and continued support during this difficult time.”

Brady’s Sushi and Hibachi in Richmond, Kentucky, recently took to social media to speak out about the shortage, telling customers that sriracha would not be available as a free condiment and that there would be a cap on spicy mayo until the deficiency has been remedied.

In a follow-up post, Brady’s said it got an influx of sriracha following its announcement, thanks to generous customers buying from nearby grocery stores and dropping it off at the restaurant.

VERIFY reached out to several major grocery chains including Albertsons, HEB, Walmart and Wegmans for updates on the current retail impact of the Sriracha shortage, but received no feedback at the time of publication.

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Alley Einstein

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