This summer's forecast is looking a little less hot thanks to an impending Sriracha shortage.
Huy Fong Foods, one of the world’s largest producers in the Asian hot sauce market, revealed that bleak climate conditions have negatively affected its supply chain.
In a letter sent to wholesale buyers in April, the hot sauce company revealed that ongoing weather issues had caused a shortage of chili pepper inventory. According to the letter, the brand’s Chili Garlic, Sambal Oelek and Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce are the products wholesalers can expect to break a sweat over in terms of lack of inventory.
“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.”
Buyers who put in requests for sauces with Huy Fong Foods on April 19 and after can expect their orders to be scheduled after Labor Day and for items to be fulfilled only in the order they were received. Purchased items on or after April 19 that have not been confirmed by the brand will be on hold until September 2022. No new requests for sauces will be accepted until after September.
According to NBC News, Huy Fong Foods sources its chili peppers from Mexico. Northern parts of the country are currently experiencing extreme and exceptional droughts.
So far, one restaurant has shared how the shortage has affected it: Brady’s Sushi and Hibachi in Richmond, Kentucky:
In a letter to customers posted on Facebook on May 23, the restaurant explained that its “most beloved hot sauce, Sriracha,” is facing supply chain issues and would put a cap on spicy mayo orders and would no longer offer Sriracha as a free condiment until further notice.
"I just ordered 3 bottles on Amazon to hold me over til the new year. Lettuce pray," one person tweeted in response to the anticipated shortage.
“The apocalypse has officially begun,” another hot sauce lover tweeted.
“I don’t drive, I only buy stuff on sale, and I keep my pantry well-stocked,” wrote another user. “However, inflation might get to me with the Sriracha shortage.”
"This is what fear looks like in a sriracha shortage," someone else tweeted, with a photo of a cart full of the hot sauce.
Climate change is an increasing issue that has hampered global food security and the U.S. food system. A 2015 peer-reviewed scientific assessment underlined how climate change affects agricultural yields and how it leads to disruptions in local availability and price increases.
As per NBC News, in early June, the USDA announced its effort to increase the number of markets of small and mid-size producers in order to bring about fairer prices.
For those who can't take the heat of Sriracha uncertainty, it might be time to consider whipping up your own batch of the spicy condiment.