McDonald's limits fries sales as it faces shortage in Japan

It appears the chips are down in Japan with McDonald’s saying it’s facing a french fries shortage.

McDonald's Holdings Company Japan said on Tuesday it would suspend the sale of medium and large-sized french fries for a week starting on Friday.

The company is seeing delays in potato shipments due to supply chain issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic as well as from shipping disruptions in Canada. The potatoes used for the french fries are imported from North America, it said.

McDonald's french fries are pictured.
McDonald's in Japan will only be able to offer small fries from Christmas Eve until December 30. Source: Getty Images

“We import potatoes from North America on a large scale near the port of Vancouver, Canada, which is the transit point for shipping services,” McDonald’s said.

“Import delays have occurred due to flood damage and the impact of the coronavirus disaster on the global distribution network.”

The popular fast-food company said french fries in small sizes will continue to be on sale. The suspension is due to last until December 30, affecting about 2,900 McDonald’s restaurants in Japan.

The company did not quantify the financial impact of the temporary suspension.

The UK has also faced issues with its supply of chips after wild weather damaged potato crops.

A McDonald's sign is shown in Houston, Texas.
McDonald's said the shortage is due to a number of factors including the coronavirus pandemic. Source: Getty Images

The potato industry suffered from unprecedented weather and as a result will be unable to keep up with demand for the rest of 2021, hospitality buying firm Lynx Purchasing has said.

It added the variety of potatoes used in frozen chips and roast potatoes had been hit particularly hard, hampering growers and processors.

The flooding and a combination of the Covid pandemic, Brexit, labour shortages, increased fuel and distribution costs, created a “perfect storm” that led to the potato problems, the report added.

with Reuters and Yahoo! UK

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