An 'unprecedented' shortage
The makers of the popular hot sauce, Huy Fong Foods Inc., has had to halt production of its iconic sauces—Sriracha, Chili Garlic, and Sambal Oelek—because of a lack of chilli peppers, as reported by Bloomberg.
The company said in a statement:
Unfortunately, we can confirm that there is an unprecedented shortage of our products. 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.
While chilli peppers have consistently been in short supply since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, a letter from Huy Fong to distributors sent on 19 April, 2022 blamed 'weather conditions affecting the quality of chili peppers' for the current shortage. The letter said that the situation is 'out of our control' and would negatively impact the production and distribution of Sriracha.
Huy Fong is one of the world's biggest producers in the Asian hot sauce market, according to CNN. The company is California-based, and sources its chilli peppers from Mexico, where a drought is impacting more than half the country and also parts of western United States.
Huy Fong said it would not accept any new orders placed this summer, and any orders made before Labor Day in the United States, 5 September, will be fulfilled in autumn. The company recommended distributors do not 'promise any products to customers unless you have the product in stock.'
Panic buying hot sauce
The shortage has caused an uproar on social media amongst hot sauce fans, with some describing it as an 'apocalypse' and a 'saucageddon.' Others said they were planning on stocking up in case shelves become empty. This in turn has sparked outrage, as other fans compare it to panic buying toilet paper during the Covid-19 pandemic.