A growing global potato shortage that has forced McDonald’s in Japan and Taiwan to remove French fries and hash browns from their menus could soon hit the African market. Photo: File
A growing global potato shortage that has forced McDonald’s in Japan and Taiwan to remove French fries and hash browns from their menus could soon hit the African market. Photo: File

Global shortage of potatoes hits fast-food chains McDonald’s, KFC

By African News Agency Time of article published Jan 11, 2022

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A growing global potato shortage that has forced McDonald’s in Japan and Taiwan to remove French fries and hash browns from their menus could soon hit the African market.

The South China Morning Post reported yesterday that Japan had suspended sales for its medium and large fries, and was only allowing its customers to buy small-sized portions.

The limit on fries was caused by a delay in potato imports from Canada, with the fast-food chain stating the restriction was expected to last for a month.

Japan faced the same obstacle last month when they temporarily limited the sale of fries. In a statement by McDonald’s Japan, chief executive Tamotsu Hiiro apologised for the restrictions and admitted the delays occurred due to the “impact of the corona disaster” on the global distribution network, as well as to flood damage, heavy snowfalls and bad weather.

“While it is difficult to procure raw materials in a stable manner, we have co-operated with importers and suppliers to proactively take alternative measures,” said Tamotsu.

In Taiwan, some stores had reportedly run out of hash browns imported from the US, and were forced to suspend sales.

McDonald’s Taiwan said in a statement that “there is a shortage of hash browns in McDonald’s restaurants, and sales will be temporarily suspended after they are sold out”.

The global shipping crisis has severely affected a number of sectors and businesses following various lockdown restrictions due to the pandemic, which was soon followed by an increase in consumer demand and a delay in production and manufacturing.

According to the Washington Post, South Africa’s leading makers of potato chips had issued warnings of the short supply of potatoes, while KFC in Kenya have also run out of chips.

However, the chain has offered its customers an opportunity to swop out the chips for other items on the menu.

“You love our chips a little too much, and we’ve run out. Sorry!” tweeted KFC.

African News Agency

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