RSS

The Bulletin

The beloved Sriracha brand has a dark side

Posting in Cities

There's no doubt that Sriracha is a fascinating company. The hot sauce brand does $60 million in sales every year without spending any money on advertising and with a website that could have been built in an introductory website design class.

But while the company has been able to achieve double digits in sales growth every year it has been in business, the popular hot sauce isn't loved by everyone, Los Angeles Times reports:

[I]n Irwindale, where the hot sauce’s production facilities are, residents are complaining of burning eyes, irritated throats and headaches caused by a powerful, painful odor that the city says appears to be emanating from the factory during production. The smell is so aggressive that one family was forced to move a birthday party indoors after the spicy odor descended on the festivities, said Irwindale City Atty. Fred Galante.

If you've ever cut into a hot pepper, you know how potent just one can be without even eating it. Now imagine millions being processed in your backyard.

Of course, Sriracha isn't the only company to have environmental problems near factories. But Sriracha does have an issue that many other companies don't have: it processes 100 million pounds of fresh chilies every year.

And the city where the production facility is located, Irwindale, California, isn't putting up with it anymore. That could mean trouble for the company (and your hot sauce addiction). The city has filed suit against the company saying that the odor is a public nuisance and calling on a judge to stop production until the company deals with the problem.

A judge will decide later this week if production at the company's only sauce-producing factory, a 655,000-square-foot facility, will be put on hold.

Read more: Los Angeles Times

Photo: Flickr/Memphis CVB

— By on October 29, 2013, 3:34 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure