Thursday , June 20 2024

Vietnamese-American billionaire’s Sriracha sauce sees eightfold price hike


Prices of the popular hot sauce Sriracha have surged eight times in the U.S. as drought in Mexico leads to a scarcity in the key ingredient, red jalapeños.

The hot sauce, which is produced by Huy Fong Foods owned by Vietnamese-born billionaire David Tran, is sold at US$40 per bottle of nearly 500 grams on eBay, compared to $5 before.

A bottle of nearly 800 grams is sold at $60 on the same platform. In Vietnam, a 500-gram bottle is sold at VND89,000 ($3.75) on e-commerce platform Shopee.

The shop that sells it imports thousands of bottles a year from California, but since April Sriracha prices have risen as its supply become scarce. Huy Fong Foods recently told CNN that it’s still experiencing a shortage of
raw materials.

“Although some production did resume this past fall season, we continue to have a limited supply that continues to affect our production. At this time, we have no estimations of when supply will increase,” a Huy Fong spokesperson said.

There’s been a shortage of the main ingredient, red jalapeños, for the past three years.

Last year, the company temporarily stopped orders because of the shortage, which also affected its Chili Garlic and Sambal Oelek products.

The Guardian reported that drought in Mexico has resulted in a scarcity of chilli peppers. “It is a challenging crop to grow,” said Stephanie Walker, a plant scientist at the New Mexico State University, who serves on the advisory board of the Chile Pepper Institute.

“Jalapeños are really labor intensive, requiring people to de-stem them by hand before they go for processing.”
Huy Fong’s Sriracha, created in 1980 by David Tran, is sold in popular retailers like Target and Whole Foods.

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