People Are Charging Big Bucks for Sriracha Amid the Shortage

Bottles are selling for well above retail on the secondary market, and the hot sauce is disappearing from restaurant tables

many bottles of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce
These bottles are quite scarce on grocery store shelves right now
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Last summer, Huy Fong Foods, the producer of the beloved chili sauce Sriracha, announced the company was preparing for a product shortage. Unfavorable weather conditions were to blame, as they resulted in a sub-par chili pepper crop that could lower production levels of the company’s Chili Garlic, Sambal Oelek and Sriracha sauces. “We hope for a fruitful fall season and thank our customers for their patience and continued support during this difficult time,” a Huy Fong spokesperson told Food & Wine around this time last year.

But as the shortage enters year two, it seems that last year’s harvest wasn’t as fruitful as the company hoped. This April, a Huy Fong representative told the Los Angeles Times that the company is still suffering from a lack of “raw materials” and is still dealing with an “unprecedented inventory shortage.” The company also noted that they don’t sell directly to the retail and market level, so they have no idea when grocery shelves will be stocked with their product once more.

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Some people are getting so desperate for the spicy sauce that they’ve started swiping it from restaurant tables. “We haven’t seen people take them, but there is a bottle that will go missing,” Mariel Edwards, the operations manager of Filipino-fusion restaurant Señor Sisig told SFGate. “It’s funny how, like, they’ll just not be on the table anymore.”

We did a quick search for Sriracha online and did see it available on Mercato, though we can’t promise it will be stocked in your zip code. A three-pack of Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce is currently going for $159.99 on Amazon, while a bottle of Sriracha can be yours for $49.99 on eBay (you can also snag a two-pack for $69.99). But if you’re not willing to drop big bucks on a bottle of the red stuff, these chef-approved alternatives are a good bet.


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