Jul 01, 2023
Sriracha Shortage Still in Full Swing One Year Later
Meanwhile, some bottles have been disappearing from restaurant tables. Jelisa Castrodale has been a staff writer with Food & Wine since 2019. The Image Party / Shutterstock It has been just over a
Meanwhile, some bottles have been disappearing from restaurant tables.
Jelisa Castrodale has been a staff writer with Food & Wine since 2019.
The Image Party / Shutterstock
It has been just over a year since California-based Huy Fong Foods confirmed the worst: that it was preparing for a shortage of its Sriracha, Chili Garlic, and Sambal Oelek sauces. Adverse weather conditions and a sub-par chili pepper crop were among the factors cited by the company, and it confirmed that the shortage could affect wholesale, restaurant, and individual customers.
“Unfortunately, we can confirm that there is an unprecedented shortage of our products," a Huy Fong spokesperson wrote in a statement to Food & Wine at the time. "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."
It’s been a rough year for anyone who’s been craving that particular green-capped Sriracha sauce. In April, a Huy Fong representative told the Los Angeles Times that it is still facing a significant lack of “raw materials,” and that it was still enduring an “unprecedented inventory shortage.”
“Although some production did resume this past Fall season, we continue to have a limited supply that continues to affect our production. At this time, we have no estimations of when supply will increase,” the company said in a statement. “Because we do not sell directly to retail/market levels, we cannot determine when the product will hit shelves again and/or who currently has the product in stock [...] We are currently working on trying to avoid future shortages.”
As of this writing, Huy Fong-brand Sriracha is not available to buy through Target.com or Walmart.com. It is only available from third-party sellers on Amazon, and some optimistic eBay sellers have listed single 28-ounce bottles for between $38 and $44.
Meanwhile in San Francisco, some Sriracha-starved customers have allegedly started stealing it from a popular Filipino-fusion restaurant. Mariel Edwards, the operations manager for Senor Sisig, told SFGate that bottles of Sriracha “literally disappear” from tables — and that some desperate sauce-lovers have called to ask if they could buy some from the restaurant’s supply.
“We haven’t seen people take them, but there is a bottle that will go missing,” she told the outlet. “It’s funny how, like, they’ll just not be on the table anymore.”
Last summer, a Vietnamese restaurant in Los Angeles offered to trade free food for unopened bottles of Sriracha. “We need Sriracha (Huy Fong Foods Brands ONLY)," Bé Ù wrote on Instagram. "Of all the supply chain issues in the world, this one feels personal." Anyone who brought in an unopened 28-ounce bottle of Sriracha received a coupon for a free banh mi, popcorn chicken, or spring rolls.
It sure seemed like a great deal at the time, but that was before those bottles were selling for $40 bucks!