Sriracha maker’s shortage warning has spice lovers sweating

 Sliced chili peppers are shown.
Huy Fong Foods, a maker of sriracha sauce, says it lacks access to high-quality chili peppers.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Brace yourselves, spicy-food lovers: The world is now facing a sriracha shortage.

Huy Fong Foods Inc., the maker of one of the nation’s most beloved condiments, has been forced to suspend production of its iconic spicy sauces due to a shortage of chili peppers.

The Irwindale company confirmed Wednesday that a shortage of peppers in its inventory had affected production of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, Chili Garlic and Sambal Oelek.

What appears to be a letter from the company to buyers of the products, dated April of this year, recently came to light online.


After the collapse of a nearly 30-year partnership with the maker of the world-famous Sriracha sauce and a multimillion-dollar lawsuit with the company, Craig Underwood is still betting on his farm’s peppers.

July 12, 2019

“Currently, due to weather conditions affecting the quality of chili peppers, we now face a more severe shortage of chili,” the letter reads. “Unfortunately, this is out of our control and without this essential ingredient we are unable to produce any of our products.”

Chili-heads didn’t take the news lightly on social media, with some lamenting the “worst news of the year” and the “end of days.” Others said they were planning to bulk-buy Huy Fong’s sauces in case shelves ran empty.

Extreme weather, pandemic supply chain snarls and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have all taken their toll on food production this year. Sriracha is just the latest item on a growing list of foods in short supply around the world, which includes chicken, popcorn, salami and fries.