Sriracha is the most popular hot sauce brand in the United States, according to a recent Instacart report. Instacart’s data show Sriracha is the top hot sauce in 31 states, including nearly the entire western region of the country.
When news of a Sriracha shortage was reported across the U.S., some fans of the popular hot chili sauce began to make claims on social media (here and here) that it had been discontinued altogether.
Has Sriracha hot chili sauce been discontinued?
- Huy Fong Foods, Inc.
- Statement from Huy Fong Foods, Inc. Management
- Facebook post from Brady's Sushi and Hibachi in Richmond, Kentucky
No, Sriracha hot chili sauce has not been discontinued, but production is suspended until further notice due to a “severe” chili pepper shortage.
WHAT WE FOUND
Huy Fong Foods, Inc., the California-based company that manufacturers Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, Sambal Oelek, and Chili Garlic sauce, said in an April 19 email to customers that it had paused production of all of its sauces due to a “severe” shortage of chili peppers. The company also mentioned that it had previously experienced a shortage of chili pepper inventory on July 24, 2020.
“Due to weather conditions affecting the quality of chili peppers, we now face a more severe shortage of chili. Unfortunately, this is out of our control, and without this essential ingredient we are unable to produce any of our products,” the email reads.
The company says all orders submitted on or after April 19 will be scheduled to be shipped after Sept. 6, 2022, in the order they were received. According to the email, customers who placed an order but did not yet receive confirmation will also be on hold until September.
“We understand that this may cause issues. However, during this time we will not accept any new orders to be placed before September as we will not have enough inventory to fulfill your order,” the company said.
Huy Fong Foods management told VERIFY their chilis are grown in Mexico. Chili peppers usually require mild weather to grow, with ideal daytime temperatures for the plants somewhere between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, VERIFY sister station WUSA9 reports.
In a statement, Huy Fong Foods confirmed that there is “an unprecedented shortage” of their products, saying weather conditions in spring affected the quality of its chili peppers.
“We are still endeavoring to resolve this issue that has been caused by several spiraling events, including unexpected crop failure from the spring chili harvest,” 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 talk about the shortage, telling customers that Sriracha would not be available as a free condiment and that there would be a limit on spicy mayo until the shortage was resolved.
In a follow-up post, Brady’s said it got an influx of Sriracha after its announcement, courtesy of generous customers who bought some at nearby grocery stores and dropped it off at the restaurant.
VERIFY reached out to several major grocery store chains, including Albertsons, H-E-B, Walmart, and Wegmans, about current retail impacts of the Sriracha shortage but did not hear back by the time of publication.