Sriracha shortage: ‘Unprecedented’ shortage of hot sauce to hit spicy food lovers

Spicy food lovers are in for a shock when an “unprecedented shortage” hits one of the world’s most popular hot sauces.

Spicy food lovers are in for a shock when an “unprecedented shortage” hits one of the world’s most popular hot sauces.

Sriracha sauce aficionados swear it tastes great on just about anything from pizza to popcorn, but they could be forced to go cold turkey for months to come unless they already have a stash.

It’s all because Huy Fong Foods Inc., a California maker of the cult product made from sun-ripened peppers, has warned of a major shortage of its products.

“We can confirm that there is an unprecedented shortage of our products,” the company said in a statement, adding that the problems were “caused by several spiraling events, including unexpected spring pepper crop failures.”

In an email to customers, the company described a bell pepper shortage as “serious” and climate related.

It gets its peppers from several farms in California, New Mexico and Mexico and said the weather conditions are affecting the quality of the peppers.

Concerned hot sauce aficionados are understandably upset as the company claims it is desperately trying to fix the problem.

“We hope for a fruitful fall season and thank our customers for their patience and continued support during this difficult time,” the company said.

The situation is so dire that some restaurants have warned that they may no longer be able to provide their customers with free condiments.

And Aussie Sriracha aficionados say they plan on hoarding the hot stuff or even trying to make it themselves.

“I think I’m going to stock up!” said one concerned Australian on social media. “I can’t live without it.”

“If I sell my half leftover bottle for $100, does that include half a lettuce and a toilet roll, takers?” added one more.

Others have suggested that now is a good time to support local chili sauce makers here in Australia.

With the climate wreaking havoc on Huy Fong’s crops in the US, Australians may have fewer options.

Stephanie Walker, a chili specialist at New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute, told the Wall Street Journal less water and more heat can strain all crops, especially peppers in the seedling stage, where they can die.

“Drought is definitely a concern,” she said of the low yield of chili crops. “That, combined with high heat, would hurt seedlings after they’re planted in the field.”

“The climate is completely intertwined with vegetable growing,” she says. “You can really lose a lot of plants.”

Global health expert warns of food shortages

It’s not just hot sauce that can run out in the coming months.

A leading global health figure has warned that the next global health crisis could come in the form of food shortages as the price of basic necessities skyrockets even in the wealthiest countries.

Peter Sands, the executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, believes a food shortage could be “as deadly” as an airborne pandemic if authorities don’t prepare.

According to Sands, after more than two years of complete restructuring of the world following the emergence of a respiratory virus, governments must now prepare for an even more complicated beast.

Australia is already starting to see early signs of food stress as lettuce prices hit an incredible $12 per capita in some areas after the flood season. Natural disasters, coupled with inflation and complications in the global trade industry, could set off a perfect storm as the world begins to turn.

Sands, who works in areas already suffering from poverty and malnutrition, says wealthy governments risk making the “classic” mistake of only dealing with crises that reflect the most recent disaster facing the world. has had.

“It’s not as well defined as a brand new pathogen that shows up with distinctive new symptoms. But it could be just as deadly,” he said via Reuters.

Sands said governments needed to strengthen health systems to prepare for the health impacts of food shortages.

While it’s unclear how devastating accelerated food shortages could be for a first-world country like Australia, health experts have urged leaders to stay vigilant.

The Global Fund aims to raise $18 billion to boost global health systems and has already raised more than a third of its 2024-2026 target.

University of Canberra environmental public health expert Dr Ro McFarlane says the global food production and delivery system appears to be just as fragile as silicon chips, clothing, toys and fuels.

“We’ve been talking about these scenarios for 50 years,” Dr. McFarlane told in May.

“We have speculated. We are measuring. We’ve applied our minds to creating predictive models. But for various reasons, we have not been taken particularly seriously.”

— with Alex Blair

Originally published as New shortage hits supermarket shelves as crops hit by drought