Sriracha hot sauce maker warns shortage could last months

Sriracha hot sauce maker warns shortage could last months
Photo credit: Getty Images

A shortage of sriracha has spice lovers sweating for all the wrong reasons.

Huy Fong Foods, one of the world's largest producers in the Asian hot sauce market, has suspended production of its iconic spicy sauces due to a shortage of chilli peppers.

The California-based company said weather conditions have affected the quality of peppers and they don't have enough in their inventory. Without this key ingredient, they can't produce any of their sauces, including its signature Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, as well as its Chili Garlic and Sambal Oelek products.

"Unfortunately, we can confirm that there is an unprecedented shortage of our products," the company said in a statement this week, as reported by Bloomberg.

"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."

A letter from Huy Fong Foods sent to buyers in April said any orders submitted on or after April 19 would be fulfilled from September onwards.

"We understand 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.

Sriracha fans didn't take the shortage news lightly on social media, with some calling it "the worst food news all year" and the "end of days".

"There is a Sriracha sauce shortage and they've suspended production. What's the f***ing point in living anymore," one person tweeted.

"If you thought shit was bad now just wait until this Sriracha shortage kicks in," another added.

Hot temperatures and drought in parts of the western United States and Mexico, where many chilli peppers are grown, have taken a toll on agriculture.

The US Drought Monitor said all of California was in "severe drought" as of last week, with the Central Valley facing "extreme drought" conditions.