Huy Fong Foods suspends production of sriracha, sambal oelek due to ‘severe’ chili shortage

Sriracha
  • Weather conditions affecting the quality of chili peppers have forced Huy Fong Foods to suspend sales of its products, including its famous sriracha sauce.
  • In an email to customers on April 19, the California-based company said they are facing “a more severe shortage of chili” compared to a similar situation in July 2020.
  • As a result, all orders placed on or after April 19 will be scheduled after Sept. 6 in the order they were received.
  • One restaurant that relies on the company’s sriracha said it may not offer the sauce as a free condiment.
  • The news places chili peppers among the list of foods and/or products that are currently in shortage, most notably baby formula.

Weather conditions affecting the quality of chili peppers have forced California-based Huy Fong Foods to suspend sales and production of its famous sriracha sauce, the company has announced.

In an April 19 email that only recently made its rounds in the media, Huy Fong Foods informed customers that they are facing “a more severe shortage of chili” compared to a similar situation in July 2020. As a result, all orders placed on or after April 19 will be scheduled after Labor Day (Sept. 6) in the order they were received.

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

Huy Fong Foods currently sells three kinds of sauces: sriracha, which is created from sun-ripened chilies pureed into a smooth paste; chili garlic, a thick, “chunky-style” hot sauce with a hint of garlic; and sambal oelek, a “full-bodied” sauce with the pure taste of chilies.

In the email, the company added that those who have not received a confirmation after making their purchase will have their orders on hold until September.

“We understand that this may cause issues. 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,” the company said.

Chili peppers have thus joined the list of foods and products in shortage so far this year. Baby formula, for instance, has been scarce since November 2021 and hit a whopping 73% out-of-stock rate on May 22, as per data firm Datasembly.

Whether Huy Fong Foods will succeed in weathering the chili shortage remains to be seen. In late 2013, the company faced a similar supply crisis over community health complaints that forced it to undergo a regulatory check.

For now, restaurants relying on sriracha are making the most of what they have. For one, Brady’s Sushi and Hibachi in Richmond, Kentucky, said it may not offer sriracha as a free condiment and would give only one free Spicy Mayo for every two rolls.

Some Twitter users are just as worried.

“Just found out there’s a sriracha shortage…WTF has the world come to?” one user wrote.

 

Featured Image via NextShark

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