A new kind of potato chip shortage has hit Japanese supply chains, with McDonald’s forced to ration potato chips as Covid-19 and flooding in Canada reduce potato imports.
McDonald’s Japan said it would only sell small fries for a week starting Friday to avoid shortages. “Due to the large-scale flooding near the Port of Vancouver … and the global supply chain crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, there are delays in the supply of potatoes.”
The company said it had taken the step to ensure that customers could still order fries, even though “stable sourcing of resource materials” was proving difficult.
The chain suffered a similar problem in December 2014, due to a labor dispute that developed on the other side of the Pacific.
More than 3,000 McDonald’s restaurants in Japan, the largest Asian market for U.S. frozen potato products, said they would sell only small portions of fries for the foreseeable future amid a protracted dispute between 20,000 dock workers and port operators. terminals and shipping lines in 29 ports on the west coast of the United States.
In response, McDonald’s Japan took the emergency step of importing 1,000 tons of frozen French fries by air.
The most recent restriction comes during the busy end of the year period with schools and offices beginning to close for the holidays.
It will also be in place on Christmas Day, commonly celebrated in Japan with a hearty helping of another American fast food, KFC, which is heavily marketed during the holiday period.
Meanwhile, a global microchip shortage fueled by a pandemic continues to plague automakers, including Japan’s Toyota, which has announced production cuts due to the crisis and supply chain problems in Southeast Asia.
With Agence France-Presse