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Why Is There a Sriracha Shortage? Everything You Need to Know

If you can't find Sriracha Hot Chili sauce at your local grocery store, there's a reason why. We'll explain.

Katie Teague Writer II
Katie is a writer covering all things how-to at CNET, with a focus on Social Security and notable events. When she's not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.
Expertise Personal Finance: Social Security and taxes
Katie Teague
2 min read
four bottles of Sriracha hot sauce sitting on a shelf

A Sriracha shortage is coming.

Justin Sullivan/GettyImages

If you used the last drop of your Sriracha sauce this week, you may find yourself in a predicament on your next grocery store trip. Why? Huy Fong Foods, the maker of Sriracha sauce, said in an April letter to its customers that it's experiencing a chili pepper shortage. As a result, it's now suspending production of the spicy sauce until after Labor Day.

The food company said it has faced a tight supply of pepper since July 2020. Other Huy Fong Foods products affected include its Chili Garlic and Sambal Oelek sauces.

Sriracha isn't the only product you'll have a hard time finding on the shelves. There's currently an ongoing low supply of baby formula, as well as a tampon shortage.

We'll explain why there's a Sriracha shortage, how long it could last and some excellent alternative sauces you can try.

Read more: 9 Excellent Sriracha Alternatives

Why is there a Sriracha shortage?

The scarcity of Sriracha sauce was caused by a chili pepper shortage that has lasted for nearly two years now. But why is there a shortage of chili peppers? "Due to weather conditions affecting the quality of chili peppers," Huy Fong Foods said.

The company gets its peppers from Mexico, which is currently experiencing a drought, the company told Axios

How long could the Sriracha shortage last?

The California-based food company said any orders submitted on or after April 19 will be scheduled after Labor Day, which falls on Sept. 6 this year, in the order it was received. That means the shortage is likely to last all summer long and through September. 

The company said it isn't accepting any new orders placed before September because it won't have enough inventory to fulfill the orders. That could mean some businesses won't receive their shipments until closer to the end of the year.

If you already can't find Sriracha sauce on the shelves at your local grocery store, it could be several months before you can restock your supply. 

Two Walmart boxes

Check online stores like Walmart to see if there's any Sriracha sauce available.

Walmart/Screenshot by CNET

Can I find Sriracha sauce online?

Depending on your location, you may be able to find Sriracha sauce online at stores like Walmart, Target and Kroger. Be aware that if you check Amazon, there are several sellers price-gouging the hot sauce. 

Later this summer, Sriracha sauce may be harder to find, so it may be best to get a bottle now, if possible. However, as with other shortages, we don't recommend hoarding bottles of the spicy sauce. If it's like other products experiencing shortages, there will likely be a limit on how many you can buy.

Is there anything similar to Sriracha sauce I can try?

If Sriracha is your go-to chili sauce, you may not find an exact replacement. But if you can't live without hot sauce on your eggs and other food, CNET's David Watsky dug up the best Sriracha alternatives with similar spice and flavor profiles. Below are even more options to try until your sauce of choice becomes available again.