Customers of a popular restaurant are allegedly stealing the business’s Sriracha bottles as the price of the beloved condiment has skyrocketed to about $30 at some Bay Area supermarkets.
Stealing Sriracha: A shortage
of the popular Asian condiment has caused the disappearance of the green-capped Sriracha bottles from local restaurants, including from the Oakland-based Filipino-fusion restaurant chain Senor Sisig.
“They literally disappear,” Mariel Edwards, the operations manager of the restaurant, told SFGate. “We haven’t seen people take them, but there is a bottle that will go missing. It’s funny how, like, they’ll just not be on the table anymore.”
According to Edwards, other customers have also called the restaurant to ask whether they could directly purchase the Sriracha bottles from the business.
Chili shortage: Last month, most of the major grocery chains in San Francisco reportedly ran out of Huy Fong Foods’ Sriracha bottles. The lack of inventory is due to a chili pepper supply shortage traced back to an unexpected crop failure caused by severe weather conditions.
Huy Fong Foods — America’s leading sriracha sauce manufacturer — previously announced the spice shortage in April 2022. Then two months ago, the company told the Los Angeles Times that they are still facing an “unprecedented inventory shortage,” noting the heavy impact on its products.
“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.
Price increase: The Sriracha shortage has led some Bay Area grocery stores to raise prices by a staggering 651%. The hot sauce, which were previously sold for $3.99 per bottle, are now selling in some places for $29.99, with some stores limiting shoppers to only two bottles at a time.
On Amazon, a seller listed two 17-ounce Sriracha bottles for a whopping $179.
In April, a TikTok user also shared her hunt for the hot sauce at multiple retailers before eventually purchasing a two-pack of Sriracha bottles on Amazon for $35.