The first documentary on Sriracha, the extraordinarily popular hot sauce, has arrived. You can download it for $5 dollars here. The 33-minute film by documentarian Griffin Hammond surveys the life of Sriracha’s maker and founder of Huy Fong Foods, David Tran, and the goings-on of his two bustling hot sauce factories.
Here’s the trailer:
The company behind Vietnamese-inspired Sriracha has earned the spotlight. Huy Fong Foods has been growing quietly by roughly 20% nearly every year since its founding in 1980—all without spending a dime on advertising. In 1980, the company churned through 500 tons of chili peppers; last year that number reached over 100 million. The sauce is now something of a cult sensation, jazzing up spicy tuna rolls, Subway sandwiches, candy canes and vodka.
And yet Griffin’s documentary comes amid some serious setbacks. A Los Angeles court recently ordered the partial shutdown of the company’s newest factory in Irwindale, California, after locals filed a suit accusing it of causing people’s eyes to water and burn. Each production line at the new factory in Irwindale can produce six times what the production line at Tran’s older factory can, according to Griffin. With a sizable chunk of that production under the gun, it will be harder to maintain the company’s steady 20% yearly growth.
Prices could also go up if the factory stays closed, even though Tran hasn’t raised the price of Sriracha since he started making the stuff back in 1980. But Sriracha will prevail under Tran’s ownership, he says in the documentary, no matter the obstacles. “This is my loved one. I don’t sell my loved one for anyone,” he told Griffin.