National condiment shortage is coming and climate change could be to blame

Condiment shortage could affect a grocery store near you

Heinz Mustard (Pedro Durigan, Unsplash)

The preparation for the celebration of America’s independence is in full swing, but the hot dog toppings could look a little different this year. An international mustard shortage and a national sriracha shortage could be making their way to a grocery store near you.

Although it is likely that you will not have a problem finding mustard in stores, the prices of the mustard you do find may be significantly higher due to production issues.

Carbon emissions are on the rise and so are severe weather conditions. Due to a severe drought in Canada, lacking harvests in France, and the war in Ukraine, mustard seed supply is way down. Both Russia and Ukraine are significant mustard seed producers, but due to the war, France cannot import seeds to make up for their losses. In Canada, production of mustard grains in 2021-2022 is estimated to have decreased by 28%.

French mustard producers reported that seed production in 2021 was down 50% after their poor harvests due to changing climate. France’s Burgundy region, one of the largest mustard seed production regions in the world, had unusually wet winters and cold springs three years in a row, not only cutting seed production by 50%, but overall production by 50% as well.

Mustard prices in France are already up 10% as a result of these production issues. It is expected for prices to continue rising as prices of packaging materials spiral out of control as well.

But wait, there’s more! Huy Fond Foods Inc. wrote an email to consumers warning of a chili pepper shortage. “Currently, due to weather conditions affecting the quality of chili peppers, we now face a more severe shortage of chili,” the email states. “Unfortunately, this is out of our control and without this essential ingredient we are unable to produce any of our products.”

The company writes that orders placed after April 19, 2022, will not be scheduled for fulfillment until after September 6, 2022.

This is not the first time we have seen issues with condiment supply, restaurants dealt with single-use ketchup packet supply with the pandemic supply chain issues. This shortage is among us due to climate issues rather than supply chain issues, so consumer panic is beginning to set in.

Do you plan on stocking up on these condiments? Tell us below


About the Author:

Morgan is a senior at Wayne State University studying political science and communications.