Attention Sriracha enthusiasts, we have some horrifying news: there’s a serious Sriracha shortage going on. If you’ve been noticing those empty store shelves where your favorite hot sauce used to be, you’re not alone.
This Sriracha shortage has ignited huge concerns and left taste buds craving spice. Unfortunately, there’s no telling when this sauce shortage will end.
By now, you’ve probably been craving a hit of Sriracha for a while. That’s fair. This sriracha shortage has been going on for some time, and unfortunately, it’s going to continue.
Huy Fong Foods, the manufacturers of the most popular type of Sriracha, are unsure when the shortage will end. But the company is trying to prevent future hot sauce issues. The brand explained in an April 2022 letter that, to an extent, the shortage is beyond its control due to issues with pepper growth and quality. Since that letter was sent, not much has changed.
However, according to June 2023 reporting from Today.com, Huy Fong Foods has resumed limited production of the hot sauce. This issue, though, is that there is still a problem with accessing the “raw supplies” to make sriracha meaning that while there might be a magical bottle or two out there somewhere, it’s still extremely difficult to find, and that’s not changing any time soon.
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According to industry experts, several factors have contributed to the Huy Fong Sriracha shortage. The brand itself points to droughts and poor weather at its partner farms in Mexico as one of the key reasons why there’s been a problem with production. After all, if you don’t have the right peppers, you can’t make the famed sauce.
The other thing, though, is that demand for Sriracha sauce has skyrocketed in recent years, as more and more people have fallen in love with its distinctive spicy, tangy flavor. Plus, Huy Fong only sells to wholesalers which means it can’t predict when orders placed will actually appear on shelves.
So when it comes to the cause of the Sriracha shortage, there is no one answer. It’s a combination of factors, some of which are beyond human control.
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Many small brands and markets sell their own iterations of Sriracha.
Here’s the thing about looking for Sriracha alternatives, other brands have the stuff. Huy Fong Foods is, likely by far, the most recognizable Sriracha at your local grocery store. However, this is no Sriracha pepper that has disappeared leading to a universal shortage and no one way to create the sauce.
In fact, according to The New York Times, other producers haven’t run into the same issues with pepper supply. While some have reported having to source multiple suppliers to get their hands on the ingredients, it has been possible. That means others are out here making Sriracha as usual, and that means you can get your hands on it. No, it won’t be the bottle with the iconic green cap, but you can still buy Sriracha sauce.
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Again, Sriracha is a type of sauce, and that means many people can create it. Originally, the recipe is believed to be from a Thai woman named Thanom Chakkapak, though her granddaughter claims it was actually Gimsua Timkrajang, her great-grandfather, who created the sauce. Eventually, her grandmother’s brother and sister began selling the sauce in Si Racha. The family, however, never patented the name.
Now, at least in the United States, the Rooster brand from Huy Fong Foods is the dominant option, but no, it’s not the only one.
In fact, you can actually make your own sriracha. There are multiple copycat recipes online, and most of them call for the same key ingredients: jalapeno peppers, serrano peppers, garlic, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, and water.
If you’ve been in a pit of Sriracha-induced despair, there is hope. In the meantime, though try some Sriracha alternatives or make some yourself. We’ll all wait out this storm together.