America's Most Popular Sriracha Maker Confirms 'Unprecedented Shortage'

Last month, Huy Fong Foods sent a letter to buyers warning of issues with its pepper supply.

Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce is bottled at the Huy Fong Foods plant
Photo: David McNew / Getty Images

In the past two years, we've all had to endure our way through countless product shortages, including everything from cream cheese to popcorn, and Subway cold cuts to disposable coffee cups. But although we seem to be past some of the most monumental — who could ever forget the Great Toilet Paper Frenzy of 2020? — that's not to say that we won't still find empty supermarket shelves where some of our favorite products used to be.

One item that might be increasingly hard to find is Huy Fong Foods Sriracha sauce, everyone's go-to green-capped hot sauce. The internet recently discovered a letter from Huy Fong Foods, Inc, the manufacturer of Sriracha, that warned of an impending shortage of not only Sriracha, but also its Chili Garlic and Sambal Oelek sauces. In the letter, which was posted on the website for wholesale food service distributor IFD, Huy Fong wrote that it had been experiencing "a shortage of chili pepper inventory" since July 2020.

The situation seems to have only gotten worse since then; due to adverse weather conditions affecting its pepper crops, the California-based company says that it is now facing "a more severe shortage of chili [peppers]." As a result, it warned that it is unable to produce those three sauces, and it suggested that its wholesale clients should not promise deliveries of Sriracha or its spicy siblings to any of their customers. "We understand that this may cause issues," the company wrote. "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."

In a statement to Food & Wine, Huy Fong Foods confirmed the authenticity of the letter. "Unfortunately, we can confirm that there is an unprecedented shortage of our products," the company wrote. "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. We hope for a fruitful fall season and thank our customers for their patience and continued support during this difficult time."

Huy Fong said that it hopes it will be able to fulfill orders for its products at some point in early September. Going three months without those particular condiments could be hard for some restaurants to swallow. According to NBC News, one Kentucky sushi restaurant said that it's going to have to temporarily stop offering "our beloved hot sauce Sriracha" to its customers.

"Since it also plays a key role in our house-made Spicy Mayo, we will start to limit one free Spicy Mayo per two rolls until we secure our resources," Brady's Sushi and Hibachi posted on Facebook. "Thank you for your cooperation and understanding during these challenging times."

Challenging times indeed. Srirach-tember can't get here soon enough.

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