Sorry, Sriracha Fans, It's Happening Again

Bottles of popular Huy Fong hot sauce are selling for triple digits online amid chile pepper shortage
By Steve Huff,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2023 6:05 AM CDT
Sorry, Sriracha Fans, It's Happening Again
In this Oct. 29, 2013, file photo, Sriracha sauce is produced at the Huy Fong factory in Irwindale, California.   (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

A hot summer lies ahead, though that heat won't be carrying over to meals usually doused in Sriracha sauce. A shortage of the chile-pepper-based condiment means it's been harder to find on store shelves, though fans can likely stumble upon the hot sauce made by Huy Fong, its main manufacturer, online. Just be prepared to pay big for a bottle or two: CBS News scoured multiple e-commerce sites and found a 17-ounce bottle on eBay going for nearly $40, while a 28-ounce bottle was selling for almost $70. Or you could buy a four-pack of the latter size for $200 on Amazon—a savings of $20 per bottle.

Meanwhile, a 17-ounce bottle of the Huy Fong version typically sells for around $4 in grocery stores and other markets. Both CBS and CNN Business note that it's not clear if anyone is actually forking over those prices for the sauce, but as the summer goes on and the cravings kick in, desperation may take over and those wallets may open wider. "Unfortunately, we are still experiencing a shortage of raw material," a Huy Fong spokesperson tells CBS of its ongoing lack of chile peppers to make the sauce, adding that they're not sure when supplies will ramp back up.

So what's been leading to this dearth? Per the Los Angeles Times, heat waves and severe droughts in Mexico, where Huy Fong sources its chile peppers, are leading to water shortages, which in turn are hampering crops. And it's a "phenomenon that experts warn will become much more common on a warming planet," thanks to climate change, the Times notes. This isn't the first time Sriracha devotees were left scrambling for their beloved condiment: Huy Fong issued a similar warning due to a chile pepper shortage last year, as well as two summers earlier. (More Sriracha stories.)

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