How much would you pay for hot sauce?

This one caught me by surprise. I read yesterday that people are paying up to $120 on ebay for Sriracha sauce. Some are getting a deal at $70.

From CNN Business, yesterday:

Sriracha sauce is selling for as much as $120 amid prolonged shortage

Story by Jordan Valinsky 

The prolonged shortage of a certain red sauce is making the black market go wild.

Prices of Sriracha sauce are as high as $70 on eBay as people look to snap up the spicy sauce — and they’re even steeper on Amazon, up to $124. Huy Fong Foods, which makes the rooster-adorned bottled sauce, has been dealing with a years-long shortage of the chilis, which is hurting production and causing some shortages.

A search on eBay shows prices for various sized bottles ranging from $39.98 for 17-ounce bottles to a 28-ounce bottle for nearly $70. In both instances, shipping is an additional fee, jacking up the price even more.

Prices are even higher on Amazon, where one seller is offering a 2-pack for $124. Of course, it’s unclear if anyone is actually paying these exorbitant prices, considering a 17-ounce bottle typically costs around $5.

The company 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.

The story of David Tran, founder of Sriracha Sauce in Irwindale, Calif. is one of success by an immigrant. Not to say he hasn’t had his troubles.

I remember reading about neighbors complaining about the smells coming from his factory and he being at odds with the City Council.

From NPR in 2014:

Sriracha hot sauce-maker Huy Fong Foods has been tussling with the City Council of Irwindale, Calif., near Los Angeles for months now over whether the factory’s spicy smells harm its neighbors. There have been legal action and suggested fixes, but also pleas from other cities for the company to consider moving there.

David Tran, the CEO of Huy Fong, says he escaped from Vietnam almost 35 years ago to be free of the communist government there and its many intrusions.

“Today, I feel almost the same. Even now, we live in [the] U.S.A., and my feeling, the government, not a big difference,” Tran says.

Irwindale’s city attorney, Fred Galante, says the city loves having the cult condiment factory but must pay attention to the health of residents.

“It’s difficult to tell a resident that suffers from asthma or their child that suffers from asthma, ‘Sorry, we do not want to be considered business-unfriendly; just keep your child indoors,’ ” Galante says.

It’s a tough call, because Sriracha is a glamorous commodity. Bon Appetit named it one of its favorite foods last year. Chiliheads began to hoard it when it looked like Huy Fong might be forced to stop making it.

The other day my husband asked me to buy some sort of Clorox stick to get out stains on something white. I looked at the store and couldn’t find any. He looked online and a single stick was $65.

Then he went to the pharmacy to pick up an Rx and was told it was on backorder. They expect it in September. Of course, he didn’t take that as an answer, but shopped around other pharmacies to find it in stock — sometime soon.

Something is drastically wrong here.

What do you think is going on?

36 thoughts on “How much would you pay for hot sauce?

  1. I knew of the Sriracha sauce shortage and can’t quite wrap my head around anyone needing it so much that they’d pay such inflated prices. What’s going on? People be nuts, I’d say.

  2. I can’t say what’s going on, but the world is weird in general right now. I was shocked when Sriracha, and all of the similar products, disappeared unexpectedly from the shelves. No I wouldn’t pay any ridiculous amount for it. I’d rather do without. I did discover gochujang though. Not as good as a chili garlic type sauce but it works as a substitute.

  3. Interesting supply chain developments…raw material shortages…or a global conspiracy? Maybe the two are linked — lack of spicy sauce and hard-to-find Clorox sticks? Is the Universe telling some of us to stop being messy eaters with all flaming hot sauces? LOL. Thanks for the morning “hmm” moment, Elizabeth. Definitely weird! 🥰

  4. Supply shortages are going to plague us for awhile. Every week I discover there’s a shortage on something that used to be easy. I’m holding onto my Sriracha though…

  5. I think it depends on your location regarding the scarcity of the item. Not a fan of Sriracha. Do you have any Big Lots in your area? Sometimes you find unexpected commodities in wholesale places.

  6. Cholulu makes a good substitute. Luckily, I still have 2/3 jar original Sriracha in my fridge. I had no idea how lucky I was 🙂 . And yes, weird times! Have you also noticed that the fruit being sold in the supermarkets no longer has any flavor? Apples, strawberries, peaches. Everything looks pretty on the outside, but it’s not ripe on the inside and just tastes bland. What is happening??!

  7. Here is what I think: Any hot sauce will do, because after the first taste, your tongue (which is now numb) cannot tell the difference between hot pepper brands. Kind of like drinking Crown Royal until you are slap drunk and going to Mekong Gold Label. Your taste buds (and gut) will be unable to tell the difference. Anyone that pays $120 is trying to impress their friends, not their taste buds. They ae doing neither.

  8. Wow! That’s pretty steep price. We have shortages of things that are imported. But local stuff is available easily. In fact, a new company has started making sauces that used to be imported. Now they are equally good and cheaper.

  9. It has to do with the weather and crops for many shortages. HERE: severe shortage of the chili peppers central to the sauce’s recipe. Particularly dry conditions in Mexico had caused red jalapeno pepper crops to fail.

  10. That’s funny about the Siracha sauce . There’s a hilarious video about Siracha sauce on YouTube . I’ll try to find it. My son loves that stuff . I bought a different brand but he hasn’t used it . As for shortages it’s a sign of the whole geopolitical and economic crisis, also called the polycrisis.

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