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Why the Sriracha shortage?

by Jon Davis | June 30, 2022

For lovers of this iconic hot sauce, the data is not good. There is a critical shortage of Sriracha and similar products due to drought in the area where the condiment gets its kick. Red jalapeños are the key ingredient in Sriracha, and climate change is punishing them.

Jalapeños grow mostly in northern Mexico and portions of the Southwest U.S. In Mexico, most of the crop is grown in the far northern states, just south of the U.S. Mexico border. The largest producing states in the U.S. are California, New Mexico, and Texas.

The main growing season for red jalapeños is during the first four months of the year. Figure 1 shows the percent of normal precipitation during this period (January thru April) in northern Mexico and the Southwest U.S. Rainfall totals during the growing season were below normal across most of this zone.

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Figure 1: Percent of normal rainfall: January – April 2022. Source: Everstream Analytics.

Much of this area had rainfall totals of less than 50% of normal with some key growing areas receiving less the 25% of normal. This created extremely poor growing conditions and an extremely poor crop of red jalapenos. The situation was exacerbated by inadequate irrigation reserves due to the two- to three-year drought in northern Mexico and the Southwest U.S.

Time to switch to Tabasco?

Learn how else climate change is affecting the global supply chain.

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