Quebec food industry copes with mustard shortage

COVID-19 pandemic shortages and extreme weather have put one of the most popular condiments in jeopardy — mustard.

At the Lasalle Drive-In restaurant, customers may soon be required to enjoy their burgers without the yellow stuff, as a shortage of mustard seeds is causing supplies to go down and prices to shoot up.

“For now, we’re good for one month at least,” said Drive-In co-owner George Tsimiklis. “Every day, we hear something new about the shortage.”

According to food industry analyst Sylvain Charlebois, the shortage — caused by a drought in western Canada and flooding in Western Europe — could have different effects on different brands.

“My guess is that you may actually see stocks be impacted by well-known brands, but you may actually be able to find high quality,” he said.

Morehouse Foods saw the writing on the wall around Christmas time.

The Montreal manufacturer stocked up on metric tons of mustard seed, which it now keeps in giant totes.

The company churns out popular brands of yellow mustard, but 80 per cent of its production is higher-end dijon — but the cost of both is going up.

“The cost of a mustard bottle has doubled since last year,” said Jean-Louis Chausse, food sales director at Morehouse.

He believes the shortage will ease in November… not exactly an ideal time for barbequing, but it’s better than never.

“What’s better than mustard on a hot dog, right?”

Leave a Comment