While we often take it for granted, it’s no secret in modern times that the accessibility of certain foods is often dependent on the whims of mother nature. Now, it would seem that an unexpected weather event has affected farm production in a way that will ultimately affect the dipping options you have at Burger King next year.
This week, the major fast food chain known in recent times for its big plant-based burger announced that they’re worried about running out of their “zesty sauce” at some point due to issues surrounding shortages in the global supply of horseradish. Yes, really.
“The global shortage of horseradish has affected some of our supply of zesty sauce,” a Burger King spokesperson told Business Insider. “We are working quickly with our suppliers to maintain continuity and keep offering our guests the zesty experience they love.”
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According to reporting from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, early snowfall in late October meant that Eau Claire, Wisconsin’s Huntsinger Farms and subsidiary Silver Spring Foods, the world’s largest horseradish producers, were unable to get between 1.5 and 2 million pounds of horseradishes plucked from the ground at usual harvest time. They’ll now have to wait until the spring to harvest their horseradish, and the situation will also delay the planting of new seeds that would’ve gone in the ground immediately after the matured crop was plucked.
“We got about half of what we were expecting out of the ground,” Silver Spring Foods President Eric Rygg told the Journal Sentinel. “We are concerned that we will not be able to make it through.”
Huntsinger and Silver Spring predict that the impact of this poor yield would be felt in early 2020. That concern was echoed almost immediately by Burger King supplier Restaurant Services, who said that “the current stock of Zesty Onion dip cups is expected to dwindle to a potential full outage by early next year.”
As of now, Burger King hasn’t articulated any plans for dealing with the shortage, since there isn’t much they can do other than re-calibrate their zesty sauce. Given the harvest cycle, producers wouldn’t really be able to make up any ground until about April of 2020, so Burger King fans (and whoever goes to Arby’s for its Horsey Sauce) might want to stock up on the horseradish-based dip while they still can. Otherwise, it’s going to be a long, un-zesty winter.