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Why there may be another shortage of sriracha sauce this summer

This wouldn't be the first time Huy Fong Foods' staple sauce has been in short supply.
Sriracha hot sauce bottles on a production line.
Posted at 12:48 PM, May 13, 2024

There could be another shortage of sriracha sauce on the horizon.

The most popular maker of the sweet and spicy condiment, Huy Fong Foods, is dealing with another supply chain shortage, first reported by USA Today.

The California-based company recently told its wholesale buyers the red jalapeño chili peppers — the key ingredient needed to make the hot sauce — “aren’t red enough,” USA Today said, based on a letter the outlet obtained.

As a result, Huy Fong Foods will reportedly halt production until after Labor Day, which is Sept. 2.

It’s unclear whether this will affect the company's other products that contain the peppers: chili garlic sauce and sambal oelek.

When asked about the sriracha production issue, Huy Fong Foods told Scripps News it had no comment.

Red jalapeños and green jalapeños, primarily sourced from Mexico, are the same pepper picked at different points of ripening. The green peppers are picked at a younger age, while the red peppers are left on the vine to mature longer.

According to PepperScale, a website that documents hot pepper varieties, the red jalapeños are spicier and sweeter than their younger counterparts. While green jalapeños are the most common chili peppers on store shelves, red ones are rarer and more expensive to grow because of the longer upkeep.

This isn’t the first time Huy Fong Foods has had to stop producing its staple sriracha sauce. Last year, it blamed crop failure on a shortage.