Eggs, pasta, sandwiches—pretty much any food can be improved by the addition of one topping: sriracha sauce. However, recently, many loyal customers of the popular sauce brand, Huy Fong Foods, have noticed a severe shortage on the shelves of local stores. Huy Fong Foods has been reporting issues since 2020, and the problem has only increased since then.
Originally caused by a shortage of jalapeno chili peppers—the main ingredient of the popular sauce—the problem was only exacerbated by supply chain shortages during COVID-19’s peak. Production came back on track in 2022, but still cannot meet the demands of the many avid sriracha sauce enjoyers. Since agricultural conditions—specifically droughts in the areas where the jalapeno chili peppers are grown—mainly caused the shortage , it is unclear how soon the issue will be solved. Customers can see the effects of this supply chain issue in the empty rows where Huy Fong sriracha’s signature green-capped bottles once stood.
This unfortunate outcome for many spicy food enthusiasts around the world also represents a larger systemic issue that has arisen more and more in the past few years. Irregular droughts and other weather patterns have shifted due to climate change, causing agricultural uncertainties. With crops ruined and fields destroyed after particularly strong storms or long periods without water, suppliers have run into supply chain issues more often. In this way, climate change has a direct effect on us all. The climate crisis does not only affect the polar bears up in the Arctic or the fish under the sea, but also demonstrates a real issue that touches every aspect of daily life, including the toppings of your breakfast.