Sriracha lovers, brace yourselves for finding some alternative hot sauces this summer as popular sriracha maker Huy Fung Foods is halting production due to a bad chili pepper supply.

Another Sriracha shortage like the ones we experienced in 2022 and 2023 is rearing its ugly head, as LA-based Huy Fung Foods has told its distributors that production is coming to a halt until Labor Day. The problem, as USA Today first reported this week, is that the supply the company received of the red jalapeño peppers it needs to make the popular hot sauce were "too green," and the company will need to wait for the next chili pepper harvest.

"After reevaluating our supply of chili, we have determined that it is too green to proceed with production as it is affecting the color of the product," Huy Fung Foods said in an April 30 letter to its wholesale buyers, per USA Today.

All customer orders have been canceled as of May 6.

The troubles with Huy Fung's supply chain date back to 2017, when its relationship with its longtime exclusive pepper grower, Underwood Ranches, broke down — and farm owner Craig Underwood ultimately ended up suing and winning a $23 million settlement from Huy Fung owner David Tran. As the New York Times reports, Underwood has gone on to create a competitive Sriracha product with his own peppers, called Underwood Ranches' Dragon Sriracha Sauce.

"It took a lot to put together the distribution system that we created over 28 years [with Huy Fung Foods], and [Tran] hasn’t done a really great job of rebuilding that," says Underwood in comments to the Times.

"It’s an important lesson for other processors that you need to take care of your grower base and keep those strong relationships intact," says Stephanie Walker, co-director of the Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University, speaking to the Times.

While some savvy restaurateurs have been hip to the need for stockpiling Huy Fung Sriracha in their storage rooms the last few years, others are likely going to be turning to alternatives — and during last year's shortage, Bay Area restaurants started feeling the lack-of-sriracha pain by mid-June.

Competitors like Underwood are only going to make money from this, and perhaps raise the profile of their competitive products. Tabasco Brand Sriracha sauce is now widely distributed, and Tabasco even smartly grabbed the URL, where you'll find links to buy their hot sauce.

As the story goes, the first Sriracha was made around 90 years ago by Thai woman Thanom Chakkapak, and it was called Sriraja Panich. Thais now have many versions of this sauce, many of them more liquid and pourable than Huy Fung's version, and not necessarily as spicy.

Tran, an ethnic Chinese former major in the South Vietnamese Army, started making his version in LA in 1979, and started distributing it around town by 1980 out of the back of a Chevy van. The rooster on the label and "rooster sauce" moniker came from the fact that Tran was born in the Year of the Rooster.

And, fun fact: the first "r" in Sriracha is not pronounced — and the sauce is named for the port city it comes from, Si Racha.

Previously: Sriracha Shortage Is Rocking the Bay Area

Photo: Samantha Sophia