7 Groceries That Are in Short Supply — or Soon May Be

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For more than two years, Americans have struggled to find many products that once were readily available.

The list of specific goods in short supply appears to constantly change, but the underlying story — that we live in a world very different from the one we inhabited in 2019 and before — remains frustratingly the same.

Few shortages are more unnerving than seeing food disappear from store shelves. Here are the latest grocery items that suddenly are vanishing — or may be soon.

1. Sriracha

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The supply of the popular hot sauce Sriracha remains in a deep freeze.

California-based Huy Fong Foods Inc., which makes Sriracha, says drought has caused an epic chili pepper shortage.

The company’s founder, David Tran, recently told Los Angeles’ KNBC that he estimates that only 10% of chili pepper production is coming in — and Huy Fong Foods is already two years behind in production.

2. Potatoes

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You know things are bad when this staple food — which has seen previous generations through the worst of times — suddenly has gone AWOL.

In the summer of 2021, Idaho withered under a heat wave. As Jamey Higham, president and CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission, tells Boise State Public Radio:

“I’m not sure if you remember last June, but we had some just unbelievably hot temperatures here in Idaho. It did a number on our potato crop. And so, our yields were significantly down last year.”

3. Olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil at Costco
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Another heat wave — this one occurring in Spain this summer — is expected to scorch the production of olive oil.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Luis Planas, Spain’s minister of agriculture, says:

“If there is no temperature relief or rains in the coming weeks, this year’s olive harvest could be notably lower than previous ones. The olives sector is concerned about oil production.”

4. Hummus

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An unfortunate one-two punch of bad weather and war is expected to drop global supplies of chickpeas — the main ingredient in hummus — by up to 20% this year.

In the U.S., poor weather led farmers to plant fewer chickpeas during the spring. In addition, two nations at war — Russia and Ukraine — both are exporters of chickpeas.

5. Spaghetti sauce

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California is the global center for the production of processing tomatoes, the kind of tomatoes that get canned and are used to make tomato-based products.

The Mercury News reports that the worst drought in 1,200 years has destabilized California’s tomato crop, threatening the supply of spaghetti sauce. Mike Montna, head of the California Tomato Growers Association, tells the San Jose newspaper:

“We desperately need rain. We are getting to a point where we don’t have inventory left to keep fulfilling the market demand.”

6. Italian sparkling water

Man drinking sparkling water
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A shortage of carbon dioxide in Italy means Italian drink companies like the Sanpellegrino Group are struggling to put fizz into their products.

The CO2 shortage has been attributed to rising energy costs, which have forced some gas producers to cut their output this summer, Reuters reports.

7. Dijon

Dijon mustard
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Drought-like conditions in Canada have led to a bad harvest of mustard seeds. France also has had a poor harvest, the result of a wet winter and an unfortunately timed spring cold snap.

Ukraine and Russia also were major exporters of mustard seeds before Russia launched a military invasion of its neighbor in February.

As a result of these factors, Dijon mustard could be in short supply for the next few months, reports Food & Wine.