Is There a Mustard Shortage in the U.S.?

What do rumors of a mustard shortage mean for your summer barbecues?

Grocery store shelves lined with bottles of mustard with some products out of stock.
Photo: Allrecipes

Every time we go to the grocery store is seems there's another food shortage at hand — and prices are going up. First eggs, then chicken, then dairy, then sriracha and now, mustard?

Rumors of a mustard shortage have left shoppers wondering if the popular condiment can, well cut the mustard. We checked in with experts and popular grocery store brands to get the scoop.

Is There a Mustard Shortage?

It may come as a surprise that Canada (primarily Alberta and Saskatchewan) leads the world's mustard production, weighing in at nearly 170,000 tons; Nepal follows in a close second with nearly 158,000 tons; and Myanmar third with just over 100,000 tons. Here in the U.S., the 2020 harvest of mustard, grown primarily in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon and Washington, weighed in at 81.8 million pounds, or 40,900 tons.

As far as the two types of mustards grown — yellow and brown — there are different markets for each. According to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, the primary market for yellow mustard is North America's condiment industry, while brown mustard is in high-demand in Europe and hot mustard (also known as oriental mustard seed), a type of brown mustard that's popular in spicy cooking oils and condiments, is popular in Asia., a part of Canada's largest publisher of farmer-focused newspapers and magazines, ran a story from MarketsFarm last fall that cited a Statistics Canada (the country's national statistical office) crop report that shows the country's mustard production dropped 28 percent for the 2021-22 marketing year due to drought. That being said, Statistics Canada's July 2022 report shows the country has seeded 554,700 acres of mustard seed in 2022, which is an increase of 180 percent over seeded acres in 2021 (308,200 seeded acres).

Which Mustards Are In Short Supply?

A spokesperson from the Kraft Heinz Company shared that the drought that has impacted mustard seed supply has affected only brown mustard seed, not yellow. What does that mean? If you're a fan of Heinz Yellow Mustard, you're in luck, as it hasn't been affected by the mustard seed shortage.

Additionally, when it comes to French's Mustard, another popular yellow mustard on American grocery store shelves, a McCormick & Company spokesperson told Allrecipes that the company is not experiencing shortages of mustard seed, "which we attribute to our resilient global supply chain and strong sourcing capabilities.

"French's Mustard will be on store shelves for consumers to enjoy," they added.

On the other hand, one of Kraft Heinz Company's products that does include brown mustard seed is Grey Poupon.

"Brown mustard seed is one of the main ingredients found inside Kraft Heinz's Grey Poupon product and it is critical to the premium and iconic taste consumers know and love," the Kraft Heinz Company spokesperson told Allrecipes. "Currently, we do not predict Grey Poupon will experience any major gaps in service.

"As soon as our cross-functional Grey Poupon team identified a potential supply issue, we immediately worked to identify other sources of brown mustard seed in different parts of the world," they continued. That nimble teamwork, along with prioritizing parts of the Grey Poupon portfolio that they know are "customer favorites," not only ensured an avoidance of product shortages, but solved for a potential $50 million gap in business.

The Bottom Line

In the end, it seems there is no need to panic buy. For now, mustard will still be lining our shelves in the U.S. without issue. But if you are still feeling uneasy, now might be a good time to brush up on your homemade mustard skills.

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