Can’t Find Sriracha When Grocery Shopping? Blame the Weather.

It's an extension of a problem that developed last year

In this photo illustration, a bottle of Huy Fong Foods Sriracha sauce is displayed.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In the last two years, it has at times felt like shortages of various household items have been governed by a giant spinning wheel. With one spin, it’s toilet paper that becomes scarce; with another, it’s baby formula. Now, evidently, it’s Sriracha’s turn. This is, admittedly, a less catastrophic disruption; hot sauce is great, but it’s not essential for hygiene or feeding small children.

Still, the roots of this sriracha shortage help illustrate just how tenuous some of the supply chains consumers depend on can be — and how variables outside of the control of any politician or corporate head can lead to substantial issues with them.

A new report at the Los Angeles Times delves into the origins of the situation. The Times spoke with Hung Foy Foods executive operations officer Donna Lam about the shortages. Lam attributed the issue to “a crop thing” in an unnamed part of Mexico.

“It’s been happening since last year and this year is a lot worse, and that’s what put us back,” she said.

As the Times explains, Sriracha is made using a significant number of chiles grown in Mexico during the fall and the spring. Lam didn’t reveal too much more about the issue — and without knowing the regions affected, it’s unclear if climate change is at work here, or if the weather issue in question is due to something else.


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