There's About To Be Another Huy Fong Sriracha Shortage

Huy Fong's jalapeño supplier gave the company peppers that are too green to use for its flagship product.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but USA TODAY reports that Huy Fong Foods has paused production of its most popular product, sriracha. Again.

A letter sent to wholesale buyers (a copy of which is floating around on Reddit) announced the current delay. That's because the company says that the latest batch of red jalapeño peppers it's received isn't red enough to create a product that's consistent with its brand. Due to this problem, Huy Fong has decided to pause new batches of not just sriracha but all its products, including its chili garlic and sambal oelek, until the next chili harvesting season starts. Which is, get this — after Labor Day.

Huy Fong has previously suffered from product shortages

Issues surrounding Huy Fong's sriracha's pepper sourcing go back as far as 2017, when Huy Fong filed a breach of contract lawsuit against its now former exclusive pepper supplier, Underwood Ranches. The matter was settled in 2019 when a jury awarded Underwood $23.3 million instead.

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The L.A. Times reported that the breach of contract actually came from Huy Fong's side, who'd engaged in fraudulent behavior by concealing key information from Underwood. When that relationship fell apart, the company struggled to find a regular supply of its most important ingredient, the red jalapeños, which Underwood had previously delivered on a consistently scheduled basis.

Crop shortages from a Mexican supplier in 2022 due to drought conditions caused a long pause in production that year, leading to a run on the remaining hot sauce stock. This resulted in a lot of unhappy customers, but many people, including us, have learned that thankfully, there are dozens of alternatives on store shelves these days.

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Here are some alternative choices to Huy Fong’s sriracha

There are a ton of sriracha options on the market now, and one of them is by none other than Underwood Ranch. Admittedly, from our own taste testing, it doesn't pack a ton of major heat, but there are people out there who absolutely swear by the stuff since it's made with the red jalapeño peppers that were used to create Huy Fong's signature taste. Contributor Luke Gralia, who tried Underwood's sriracha, swears by Roland-brand sriracha, which he says has a long-lingering heat and is actually fairly spicy.

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One unexpectedly serviceable sriracha I've found on the market is, from all companies, Tabasco. Its sriracha is much different than others I've had in that it tastes slightly like Tabasco's regular tangy hot sauce flavor, but it is markedly sweet. Normally, I stay away from sweeter hot sauces, but for some reason, this works in Tabasco's sriracha's favor, and my favorite application for it is on pizza. Sweet hot sauce on pizza, who knew?

That being said, the alternative sriracha selection on store shelves is dazzling. Even buffalo wing staple Frank's RedHot has its own version, and Chick-Fil-A has one, too (though I've never had it), for crying out loud. If Huy Fong can't get its act together sooner rather than later, I have a feeling that customers will have found new favorites, which can't be good for the future of that green screw-top bottle.

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