LOS ANGELES (AP) — A jury has awarded $23.3 million to a California pepper maker in a fiery battle with the manufacturer of world-famous Sriracha hot sauce.
The Los Angeles Times says jurors determined earlier this month that Huy Fong Foods breached its contract with Underwood Ranches and also committed fraud.
Underwood, based in Camarillo, was the sole supplier of chili peppers for Sriracha for nearly three decades until 2017, when the partnership collapsed following a financial dispute. A lawyer representing Huy Fong Foods says the Irwindale-based company will fight the decision.
The company is now sourcing its peppers from various farms in California, New Mexico, and Mexico. Craig Underwood says his farm was forced to lay off 45 people but it’s recovering and has even begun its own line of sauces.