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Is there a Siracha shortage?

People are having a hard time finding their favorite hot sauce.

siracha shortage

That is because of the complaints about the siracha were received by California’s Department of Public Health.


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What is siracha?

Siracha sauce is a bright-red, smooth, spicy Asian-style sauce. The sauce is made from sun-ripened red chili peppers, garlic, distilled vinegar, salt and sugar. It is a little sweeter than your average hot sauce– but still delivers a kick. If you’d like to know more about the history of siracha, click here.

The sauce became increasingly popular after being sold to Asian communities and restaurants in LAs’ Chinatown in 1979.Last year siracha and chili sauces really started getting popular. There was  $2.17 billion in market turnover last year and was projected to reach $2.89 billion this year.

There are a few brands, but the most popular is manufactured by Huy Fong Foods, which is owned by David Tran– who is now 77. More than 10 million bottles are sold each year and in 2019, the company’s revenue was greater than $150 million.

 

Why is there a shortage?

The Huy Fong Foods factory is located in the Irwindale industrial estate in California. The chilis used for the siracha are ground in late summer prior to a 15-day fermentation process. It takes place over several weekends and events are held so the publics and watch and get a tour of the facility.

However, there have been health concerns for a number of years now. Residents of the area have complained of foul smells coming from the factory during the chili-grinding phase. There have also been reports of the public suffering from irritation to their eyes and throat. It has all been traced back to high levels of capsaicin in the air.

This year siracha has been impacted by the drought in Mexico that affected the chili harvest and the new rules implemented by the California Department of Public Health. This will require them to add a level of inspection which may halt the process until January 2023.


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