Why Is Sriracha Sauce Surging?

By: Kaydee Ambas · July 11, 2023 · Reading Time: 2 minutes

Short Supply

If you’re an avid fan of hot sauce, you might have noticed recently that the iconic green-tipped sriracha sauce has slipped off the online shelves of Walmart (WMT) and Target (TGT).

You can still buy the popular sauce on Amazon (AMZN), but you might have to blow your grocery budget to do so. On the Everything Store, Sriracha bottles are going for almost $100.

According to Huy Fong Foods, the producer of the most popular Sriracha sauce, this shortage is the result of an “unprecedented” ongoing crop failure.

The Megadrought

Northern Mexico, along with most of the southwestern US, is experiencing a “megadrought.” According to scientists, this region is currently living through the driest 22-year period in over 1,200 years.

Researchers believe this drought is related to climate change and the onset of increasingly unexpected and extreme weather patterns. It has also likely been exacerbated by back-to-back La Niña events.

Because of this drought, the chili peppers needed to make Sriracha sauce are in short supply, leading to the surge in prices.

Spicy Price Spike

Similar to the toilet paper run of 2020, different sized bottles of Sriracha sauce are demanding a significant markup on online sites.

For example, a 28-oz bottle sold for nearly $70 on eBay (EBAY). Meanwhile, one Amazon seller listed a 2-pack for $124. Some restaurant owners have even reported people stealing the sauce from their stores.

Since hot sauce is far from being a dietary staple, this issue might simply seem like a tangy news story. But it’s also one to continue watching. If this drought ends up impacting staple goods like wheat, corn, or rice, things could go from “mild” to “spicy” real quick.

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