Post Tagged with: "David Tran"

Mr. C

‘Sriracha Factory to Halt Odor-Making Operations’

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge Tuesday ordered a Sriracha hot sauce plant in Irwindale to partially shut down in response to smell complaints from nearby residents. Judge Robert H. O’Brien ruled in favour of the city and ordered sauce maker Huy Fong Foods to cease any kind of operations that could be causing the odours and make immediate changes that would help mitigate them.


CEO David Tran founded Huy Fong foods shortly after he landed in Los Angeles in 1980, he was both jobless and hot-sauce-less. Longing for the signature spice of his native Vietnam, made his own hot sauce (the ingredients read “Chillies, sugar, salt, garlic & distilled vinegar”) and started selling it in the now-iconic squeeze bottle with the green cap as a community service.

Tran can’t tell you where Sriracha is being sold, because all he knows is that Huy Fong has ten distributors, to whom he has handed off his hot sauce for over 10 years now. Meanwhile the Sriacha bottle is decorated with words from five languages; English, Chinese, Vietnamese, French and Spanish. Sriracha sales last year reached some 20 million bottles to the tune of $60 million dollars, percentage sales growth is in the double digits each year, and it does all this without spending a cent on advertising.


Most commercially distributed hot sauces are made with dried chilies to make it easier to harvest, process and bottle the product at scale. McIlhenny, the maker of Tabasco, for example, buys its chilies from producers around the globe. But Sriracha is—and always always has been—made with fresh chilies. Huy Fong Foods processed some 100 million pounds (45 million kilograms) of fresh chilies last year over the course of its harvest season, which lasts only 10 weeks and provides for the entirety of the company’s yearlong Sriracha sales.

Demand is such that Huy Fong—which also makes Chilli Garlic and Sambal Oelek, two significantly less popular hot sauces—recently purchased a new 650,000-square-foot (60,000 sq m) factory just to process and bottle its Sriracha. An upgrade that was set to have a capacity, two-and-a-half times that of its its old facility, producing 3,000 bottles every hour, 24 hours a day and six days a week.
Judge Robert H. O’Brien ruled in favour of the city, writing that the odour appears to be “extremely annoying, irritating and offensive to the senses warranting consideration as a public nuisance.” It does not force a complete closure of the factory, nor does it specify what exact changes need to be made. As seen with the Great Sriracha Shortage of 2007, some chefs have already begun preparing for a life without Sriracha. Do yourself a favour and pickup a bottle, or 10.

Mr. Collins,

Weak long black W a dash of cold milk



November 27, 2013 × 1 comment