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Huy Fong Sriracha Sauce Shortage Enters Second Year

It’s a modern cult classic: Huy Fong’s (in)famous Sriracha Sauce has ruled the Western World’s hot sauce market since the millennium. But Huy Fong Sriracha fans are facing another shortage. A second year of bad weather has crashed another pepper crop…

No Sriracha - © 2022 hotsaucedaily.comEven in the best of times folks can’t seem to get enough of Huy Fong’s famous Sriracha Sauce. It’s the one in the red bottle with the green squirt-nozzle top, and the iconic rooster on the label.

Hard times

But the company and the it’s die-hard fans have had to endure hard times the past couple of years. Blame it on climate change.

Huy Fong’s gets the bulk of its red-ripe Jalapeños from Mexico. And the weather there has been anything but conductive to producing the kind of peppers the company needs.

What happened?

The peppers need moderate temperatures and ample water near the end of their growing season to develop the rich red colour that is Huy Fong’s is trademark. This year, it’s been hot and dry – not unexpected after a couple of decades of advancing climate change. And the peppers have failed to turn red.

As a result, Huy Fong’s has informed its distributors it won’t be able to ship any sauce until at least this coming September.

Not only that…

But the unripe peppers aren’t just the wrong colour. They may also not have developed the trademark sweet-spicy flavour Huy Fong’s Sriracha is known for. And for dedicated fans, that would be an even more serious flaw than off colour.

What’s a Sriracha  fan to do?

Yes, there are lots of other Sriracha Sauce brands on supermarket shelves across the continent. But they have significant drawbacks in the eyes of Huy Fong aficionados.

The vast majority of potential substitutes are imports. So they’re in shorter supply than Huy Fong’s usually is. And they’re more expensive.

And there’s the matter of flavour. Fans flocked to Huy Fong Sriracha largely because of its unique garlicy-sweet-tinged savoury profile. Fans insist no other sauce, made with other peppers, has been able to match it.

My take…

It’s hard times again, one way or another, for Huy Fong’s Sriracha fans.

But it’s also a major issue for the company, which suffered a huge business hit last year, for the same reasons. And before that, the COVID crisis posed different but still significant operating issues.

We have no word on how Huy Fong’s is faring under the financial burden the string of ‘bad years’ has saddled it with. But I, for one, wonder can the company can survive. The answer to that poignant question may be moot. Underwood Ranches, the California pepper grower Huy fong’s used to buy their peppers from, is now making its own California Red Jalapeño-based hot sauce. And it’s deemed pretty good by Sriracha devotees.

But it’s not known if Underwood could even come close to producing enough of its Dragon Sauce to make up for the Huy Fong shortage…

~ Maggie J.