The Ridiculous Number Of Peppers Delivered To The Huy Fong Factory Every Day

Originally, the Huy Fong factory was a 5,000-square-foot building. Now, the factory, which churns out an alarming number of Sriracha bottles a day to feed into our insatiable appetite for the sauce, requires 650,000 square feet to operate (via The Economic Times). If you need a sense of how big that is, it's roughly 90 times the size of Barack and Michelle Obama's Martha's Vineyard mansion (which is about 7,000 square feet small). To be fair, the Obamas' chili obsession doesn't feed the entire country, and no word yet on whether or not they use Sriracha to make it.

The Huy Fong factory, on the other hand, needs to operate 16 hours a day, "most days of the week," in order to fulfill demand, reports Bloomberg. As of 2019, the single California factory was responsible for producing the coveted sauce that makes up 9.9 percent of the United States' 1.55-billion-dollar hot sauce market. To put it another way, Sriracha sauce is so popular in America that BuzzFeed created an entire article dedicated to the best Sriracha tweets. It's such a fad, that Nick Jonas admitted to Us Weekly that he prefers Sriracha-flavored popcorn. We're told that the cool kids even dress up as Sriracha sauce on Halloween these days (via Instagram).

There's one thing holding Huy Fong factory back (from world domination) though: "Having enough chili to make our chili sauce," according to what a factory employee told Zagat in 2014.

Behind the Huy Fong factory's pepper dependence

The Huy Fong factory needs all the sun-ripened jalapeño peppers it can get (via The Irish Times). It needs so much that, per The Guardian's reporting, one of the factory's former pepper providers expanded its production from 50 acres of jalapeño peppers to 1,700 acres of the peppers between 1988 and 2016. Bloomberg reports that, as of 2019, the factory was sourcing 100 million pounds of chilies per year from three different providers. That's a remarkable amount of peppers given that the jalapeños that Huy Fong factory uses are only in season for four months annually (via Refinery 29).

As per Refinery 29's reporting, a whopping 21 tons of peppers reach the Huy Fong factory every day. According to National Geographic's measurements, this adds up to a little more than how much two, large Tyrannosaurus rex would have weighed 90 to 66 million years ago, when the American Museum of Natural History says they walked the earth. In other words, a lot.