What was once a fiery red color on grocery store shelves has turned a dull brown without much explanation.

Sriracha's distinct shade of red was a precursor to the heat that awaited users after squirting the sauce on top of things like noodles and Asian-inspired dishes. Now, that red seems to have gone away.

What's In Sriracha?

Sriracha is a hot chili sauce that has been around for decades, but has grown in popularity in the U.S. in the past 20 years.

Among U.S. consumers, the sriracha manufactured by Huy Fong Foods is one of the most recognizable brands thanks to the rooster on its label. The company says on its website that it takes "sun-ripened chilies" and purees them into paste that is thin enough to be squeezed from one of its iconic bottles.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Other sriracha brands have popped up on store shelves across the country, but sauce from Huy Fong is often the one that commands the most space.

At least it was that way up until two years ago.

Why Sriracha Is Turning Brown

Sometime in 2022, the Huy Fong revealed the chili pepper crop it used to make sriracha wasn't up to its usual standards. Food & Wine pointed toward "adverse weather conditions" as a huge contributing factor to the reduced quality in chili peppers.

This eventually led to the California-based company acknowledging a shortage of its most popular product and second-hand bottles of sriracha being sold on places like eBay for as much as $40.

Huy Fong's massive squeeze bottles of sriracha would eventually return to store shelves in 2024, but with one noticeable change. The sauce that was once a vibrant red had turned on odd shade of brown.

Crop Failure Leads To Shortage Of Popular Sriracha Sauce
Getty Images

USA Today says Huy Fong has paused sriracha production to "revaluate" its pepper supply. It is believed the peppers traditionally used for the sauce have been too green in recent months.

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The green and red have turned into a brown paste instead of Huy Fong's traditional sriracha color.

At this time, there have been no reports of a confirmed sriracha shortage despite Huy Fong temporarily stopping its sauce production line.

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