The shortage is a consequence of an inadequate production year. Yields in Canada, the second biggest mustard seed producer in the world, dropped 28 percent – thanks to droughts during the last growing season. (Related: Drought-stricken Texas finally gets some rain, but it may not be enough to save crops and cattle.)
In France, harvests were even worse and fell by 50 percent last year as a result of unfavorable weather conditions, according to a report by the Guardian.
Major French mustard producer Reine de Dijon blamed the deficient harvests on the climate.
"We're in a crisis we haven't seen for 25 years. The price of seeds has gone up three or four times, and maybe five times soon. And, on top of that, there is no supply," Reine de Dijon Sales Director Christophe Planes told France24.
Also contributing to the mustard shortage is the war between Russia and Ukraine. Both countries are huge producers of mustard seeds, but importing them to compensate for the discrepancy in France and Canada isn't possible because of supply chains interrupted by the war.
In France, mustard prices are already up 10 percent as a result of these production issues. Expenses for transportation, jars, lids and other supplies are also increasing. Prices are expected to keep rising as the costs of packaging materials get out of control, as well.
Mustard isn't the only popular condiment that is becoming more difficult to find.
In April, Huy Fong Foods Inc. informed customers that it was ceasing production of the cult-favorite hot sauce Sriracha due to a "severe shortage of chili." The company added that it was facing an "unprecedented shortage" of chili peppers as a result of droughts in Mexico, where they are grown.
"Currently, due to weather conditions affecting the quality of chili peppers, we now face a more severe shortage of chili. Unfortunately, this is out of our control and without this essential ingredient we are unable to produce any of our products," Huy Fond said in an email to its consumers.
The company added that orders placed after April 19, will not fulfilled until after September 6.
Just last year, ketchup was beset by related issues as restaurants grappled to get a hold of personal serving packets. That shortage was mostly a result of supply chain hiccups and raised demand as businesses turned into single-use items and fast food consumption soared.
French mustard producers stated that seed production in 2021 was down 50 percent after their low harvests. France's Burgundy region, one of the biggest mustard seed production regions in the world, had remarkably wet winters and cold springs for three consecutive years, slicing both seed and overall production by 50 percent.
Meanwhile, the Black Sea region will remain a force in the mustard market in 2022-23 according to a processor of the crop.
Scott Cunningham, chief operating officer of Schlüter & Maack Canada, said Russian growers raised acres by 30 percent this year in response to soaring prices.
There could be some problems getting that product to market because of international sanctions, but exporters surely will find a way. "We anticipate it’s going to be a discounted price just because they're going to want to turn their product into U.S. dollars," Cunningham said.
He expects some of the products will be routed through neighboring nations like Kazakhstan and sold as mustard originating from there.
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Watch this video that talks about the shortage of ketchup sachets last year.
This video is from the DoseofSarcasm channel on Brighteon.com.