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Sriracha Hot Sauce Is Selling for Astronomical Prices Right Now—Here's Why

Looking the famous "Rooster Sauce" online? It'll cost you a pretty penny.

Sriracha chili sauce has been a hot-ticket item in the United States for well over a decade now. Launched in 1980 as a niche product sold primarily in Asian supermarkets, the spicy Thai-style condiment ultimately rose to national prominence and was even declared the "Ingredient of the Year" by Bon Appetit magazine in 2009. Its popular flavor went on to inspire countless spin-off products from chips to nuts to popcorn—even salad dressing and yogurt.

But it's probably never been as sought-after as it is today. An ongoing supply shortage has fans scrambling to find the widely recognizable green-capped bottles with the rooster logo.

Online resellers are reportedly taking full advantage of the scarcity, charging "exorbitant prices" for the popular condiment made by California's Huy Fong Foods on websites like eBay and Amazon, according to Fox Business.

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Bottles that used to cost as little as $5 or less are now being marked up to $30 or more, the outlet reports.

A quick search of eBay listings confirmed this. Bidding for one 28-ounce bottle had climbed from $30 to $75 on Thursday. Meanwhile, a 12-pack of the same-sized bottles had attracted a leading bid of $415, rising 137% from its listed starting price of $175.

Manufacturer Huy Fong previously blamed the "unprecedented inventory shortage" on multiple causes, including "unexpected crop failure from the spring chili harvest." The company repeated this explanation in a statement to Fox Business: "We are still endeavoring to resolve this issue….We hope for a fruitful fall season and thank our customers for their patience and continued support during this difficult time." 

California pepper farmer Craig Underwood, who exclusively supplied Huy Fong with red jalapeños for its famous sauce for decades, has called the company's chili shortage "self-inflicted." Underwood won a $23 million judgment against Huy Fong in 2019 for breach of contract after their long-standing partnership abruptly ended.

Underwood is now one of several producers marketing his own brand of Sriracha sauce while Huy Fong struggles to meet demand.

Chris Shott
Chris Shott is the Deputy Editor covering restaurants and groceries for Eat This, Not That! Read more about Chris