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Global supply crisis: A growing shortage of french fries, from Japan to Kenya

As Miriam Berger reports in an article for The Washington Post, a number of popular items, including marmite and cream cheese, have faced scarcities amid supply chain disruptions wrought by the coronavirus pandemic and extreme weather. Potatoes are the latest to join the list, becoming unevenly available in some countries and fast-food chains because of a confluence of factors.

In Japan, McDonald’s locations stopped offering large and medium-size french fry orders late last month, after pandemic-related supply chain issues and floods in the Port of Vancouver delayed potato shipments.

Days later, South Africa’s leading makers of potato chips warned that potatoes were in disturbingly short supply after a bad frost and excessive rains led to low local yields, on top of global sourcing shortages.

In Kenya this month, Kentucky Fried Chicken locations struck french fries, known locally as chips, from menus, as virus-related shipping delays held up containers full of potatoes for more than a month.

Source: The Washington Post. Read the full article here
Photo: A McDonald’s in Tokyo on Dec. 29. In Japan, McDonald’s locations stopped offering large and medium-size french fry orders late last month. (Courtesy Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg News)
Related:
KFC Kenya runs out of imported fries, now considers local suppliers ‘who meet standards’
French-fry airlift gives McDonald’s Japan a brief respite during shortage crisis
McDonald’s Japan cuts down on fries servings owing to potato scarcity from Canada

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