When was the last time you spotted your favorite Huy Fong Foods’ green-capped bottle of Sriracha sauce? Sriracha’s never-ending shortage of supply might make you think- Why is Sriracha going out of business?
Silly you! Sriracha is just the name of the sauce, and if you thought only Huy Fong produced it, then you are wrong!
Let us see what is the whole conundrum behind Sriracha, why it is not as readily available as it was before, and see some alternatives to it in this guide!
What Is Sriracha?
Sriracha is a hot chili sauce that is made from red jalapeno peppers, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and salt. This sauce is similar to other vinegar-based sauces but has a more pronounced flavor of chili and a paste-like consistency.
Sriracha originated in Thailand in the 1930s and was first made by Ms. Thanom Chakkapak. The sauce got its name after a city, Si Racha, on the eastern coast of Thailand.
Initially, Ms. Thanom Chakkapak shared the sauce with her family and friends, and after seeing its success, she started manufacturing the label commercially under the label Sriraja Panich. Suffice it to say that the sauce quickly became the best-selling sauce in Thailand.
Although a lot of brands make Sriracha sauce, Huy Fong Foods is widely associated with and is known for this sauce.
What Does Sriracha Taste Like?
The taste of Sriracha can vary depending on the brand you choose; it can be spicier, tangier, has more vinegar, etc. However, Huy Fong’s Sriracha has a sweet and tangy flavor with a garlicky taste.
Also, it is quite spicy. On the Scoville scale that is used to measure the spiciness, Sriracha measures 2,200. Although Buffalo Wild Wings Mango Habanero Scoville might be the highest.
Why is Sriracha Going Out Of Business?
Sriracha is not a brand, but Huy Fong Foods’ green-capped bottle with a rooster label is widely associated with the sauce. You can, of course, find this sauce from other brands.
However, if we only talk about Huy Fong Food’s Sriracha that people are crazy about, then it is common knowledge that people are finding it hard to spot their sauce these days.
There are a couple of reasons why there is a scarcity of Huy Fong Foods’ Sriracha Sauce, including:
Adverse Agriculture & Weather Conditions
“Currently, due to weather conditions affecting the quality of chili peppers, we now face a more severe shortage of chili,” Huy Fong wrote in a letter last year. “Unfortunately, this is out of our control and without this essential ingredient we are unable to produce any of our products.”
Earlier, Huy Fong Foods used to source their peppers from Underwood Ranches, a farm owned by Ventura County, California. But after a legal battle, the relationship between the two ended.
As of now, Huy Fong sources jalapeño chili peppers largely from Mexico and New Mexico. And in New Mexico, the production of chilli was affected seriously, showing a decrease of 22% in 2021 from the production done in 2020. This happened largely because of severe heat waves and drought.
In 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration even warned about a major depletion of water reserves in Mexico that could lead to a shortage of water supply, affecting crop production. Clearly, this has affected the crop production of jalapeño peppers, the key ingredient of the sauce.
Strained Supplier Relations
Underwood Ranches, which is owned by Craig Underwood, supplied the peppers to Huy Fong for 28 years. However, the long-term relationship between the two ended after a legal battle that began in 2017.
The issue between the two began when Huy Fong Foods claimed that they had overpaid Craig Underwood for the 2016 crops. And then Huy Fong started making contracts with new farmers even though they were supposed to get the 2017 crop supply from Craig Underwood.
All this led to a legal battle, and it was won by Craig Underwood, getting a settlement of $23 million.
In an interview, Craig said that he could have kept up with demand if he were still the company’s supplier.
Extreme water shortages, hot weather conditions, depleting resources, and cracked supplier relationships are all reasons why Huy Fong Foods is facing a supply shortage for making Sriracha.
How Much Does Sriracha Costs Now?
With the adverse shortage of Huy Fong Foods’ Sriracha for two years now, spice lovers are forced to switch to alternate brands or pay a higher price.
Before the shortage, bottles were usually sold for under $10. But now those who happen to have untouched bottles of Sriracha are looting people.
For example, a 2-pack of 17oz Huy Fong Foods’ Sriracha was being sold on Amazon for $123.99, and a single 28 oz bottle for $69.99 on eBay.
When Will The Shortage of Sriracha End?
Unfortunately, the production of Sriracha largely depends on crop production, and the heat waves and climate conditions in New Mexico are quite bad.
It can’t be said when the weather will improve, and no one can tell when the Sriracha shortage will end.
Huy Fong does not have an estimate as to when they will increase the stock. The company does hope to avoid future shortages, but for that, crop production needs to get normal.
Alternatives of Huy Fong Foods Sriracha
You probably love Huy Fong Foods Sriracha too much, but if you can’t eat your favorite food items without this sauce, then here are some other brands from which you can buy this sauce for the time being, including:
- Shark Brand Sriracha Chili Sauce (Thailand)
- Huy Fong Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (USA)
- Kikkoman Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (USA)
- Trader Joe’s Sriracha Sauce (USA)
- Sriraja Panich (Thailand)
- Dragonfly Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (Thailand)
- Polar Sriracha Chili Sauce (Thailand)
- Thai Kitchen (Thailand)
- Lee Kum Kee Sriracha Chili Sauce (USA)
Sriracha is not a brand but a sauce, so your question shouldn’t be why is Sriracha going out of business but rather why there is a shortage.
In this article, we revealed the major reasons behind the shortage of your favorite brand, Huy Fong Foods’ Sriracha sauce.
Until the company finds a balanced supply of Jalapeno peppers, your only option is to buy Sriracha sauce from other manufacturers listed above for the time being.
How to use Sriracha?
Like any other spicy sauce, Sriracha can be used for about anything! You can mix it in mayo for a mild taste, or you can drizzle it directly on your meals, sandwiches, burgers, rice bowls, etc.
How to make Sriracha at home?
You can make Sriracha easily at home until your favorite brand brings it back in stock. Refer to this recipe to learn how to make Sriracha at home easily.
What are some substitues of Sriracha?
Harissa, Piri-piri sauce, Gochujang, Sambal oelek are some great substitutes of Sriracha.