Wotsits, Quavers and Walkers could be out of stock for 'several weeks'

Crisps in CRISIS! Wotsits, Quavers and ready-salted Walkers could be out of stock for ‘several weeks’ after IT glitch disrupts supply… so factory ramps-up production of more popular cheese and onion and salt and vinegar snacks

  • Supplies of Walkers crisps are set to be disrupted for several more weeks 
  • Leicester-based manufacturer said shortage was caused by ‘recent IT upgrade’ 
  • Products are unavailable on Tesco website and empty shelves seen in shops
  • It comes amid wider crisis across food supply chain caused by staff shortage 

Supplies of crisps including Wotsits, Quavers and ready-salted Walkers are set to be disrupted for several more weeks following an IT glitch, raising the prospect of the festive favourites being in short supply this Christmas.

The Leicester-based manufacturer said products had been affected by the glitch, adding it was ramping up production of its most popular crisp flavours including cheese and onion and salt and vinegar.

A number of products are unavailable on the Tesco website and empty shelves have been seen in some supermarkets, amid a wider crisis across the food supply chain caused by a chronic lack of workers and HGV drivers and congestion at global trading ports. 

A Walkers spokesman told MailOnline: ‘A recent IT system upgrade has disrupted the supply of some of our products. Our sites are still making crisps and snacks but at a reduced scale. 

‘We’re doing everything we can to increase production and get people’s favourites back on shelves. We’re very sorry for the inconvenience caused.’

The global supply chain crisis has caused chaos and hampered the UK’s economic recovery, with shortages on supermarket shelves across the country as well as delayed deliveries and increased prices. 

Supplies of Walkers crisps are set to be disrupted for several more weeks following a ‘recent IT upgrade’, raising the prospect of the festive favourite being in short supply this Christmas 

A number of Walkers products are currently unavailable on the Tesco website

Products unavailable on Tesco’s website include Walkers multipacks 

MailOnline also found Wotsits (pictured) and Quavers were unavailable on Tesco’s website

If the warnings of a turkey shortage this Christmas have got you in a flap, fear not – Heinz has a backup plan.

It has come up with a Christmas dinner soup with ‘big chunks’ of turkey as well as sprouts and stuffing.

The £1.50 Big Soup Christmas Dinner also has roasties, pigs in blankets and a gravy and cranberry sauce.

If you’re going to rely on it to feed the family, however, you’ll have to be quick – just 500 cans will be available this year.

Heinz might make more next year if it is a success. 

Heinz isn’t the only one to try to can Christmas – in 2013, retailer GAME launched a ‘Christmas tinner’ for gamers too hooked to their consoles to bother cooking.

It is partially caused by supply being unable to keep up with the rapidly increasing demand as the UK economy reopens. Staff shortages, Brexit, Covid and wider economic conditions are also contributing factors. 

Across the UK food supply chain there are currently about half a million job vacancies, which represents 12.5 per cent of the total workforce required. 

The haulage sector has also been badly affected by the crisis, with the Government pledging to recruit thousands more lorry drivers for the Christmas period.

A shortage of drivers previously delayed fuel deliveries, which sparked panic-buying and a weeks-long fuel crisis.   

Jonathan Neame, chief executive of Shepherd Neame, warned of ‘terrific supply chain squeezes’ on the food and drink industry that are expected to last for the next six to nine months.  

Industry leaders have insisted a combination of Brexit and strict immigration controls, plus coronavirus, where many foreign workers chose to go home, have triggered the crisis. 

Experts said the HGV driver shortage is due to a combination of factors including EU employees returning home after Brexit and lockdown restrictions causing the cancellation of 40,000 HGV tests. They also cited poor wages and the closure of a tax loophole for some drivers.

Just last week, McDonald’s left customers fuming after removing the popular Chicken Legend burger from its menu due to ongoing supply chain issues. 

The fast food giant was branded ‘psycho’ and ‘out of order’ by customers online, while one vowed to riot after they were unable to order the fried chicken burger, which is typically served in a ciabatta bun with lettuce and mayonnaise.  

McDonald’s initially insisted supply chain woes were ‘impacting the availability’ of the Chicken Legend and that it was working hard to return the item as soon as possible. It later said the item should still be available inside restaurant chains, just not for delivery orders.   

Wetherspoon bosses were forced to apologise after revealing that venues across the country had run out of salt, blaming ‘supplier disruption’, with new food providers being sought to alleviate the pressure on existing stock shortages. 

Also last week, MPs were warned that UK supermarkets will be short of home-produced fresh turkeys this Christmas with stores turning to imports from France and Poland. 

The haulage sector has also been badly affected by the crisis, with the government pledging to recruit thousands more lorry drivers for the Christmas period (stock image)

Angry fast food fans have hit out at McDonald’s after it removed Chicken Legends (pictured) from its menu due to ‘supply chain’ issues

Pub lovers across the UK bemoaned the lack of available sachets at JD Wetherspoon pubs in the latest supply chain crisis to strike at the popular chain. Pictured: A Wetherspoon venue in Littlehampton, West Sussex

Turkeys could be imported from France and Poland for Christmas if crippling shortage of workers threaten supermarket stocks 

Supermarkets will be short of home-produced fresh turkeys this Christmas with stores turning to imports from France and Poland, MPs have been told.

Industry leaders say it is evidence of a wider crisis across the food supply chain caused by a chronic lack of workers.

UK farmers decided to raise fewer chicks this year because they could see there would not be enough staff in processing plants to handle them.

In evidence to an inquiry by MPs on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, chairman of the British Poultry Council, Graeme Dear, said there was a ‘likelihood’ there will be a shortage of UK turkeys for Christmas.

Around 20 per cent fewer birds have been reared this year on British farms.

 

Industry leaders say it is evidence of a wider crisis across the food supply chain crisis. UK farmers decided to raise fewer chicks this year because they could see there would not be enough staff in processing plants to handle them.

In evidence to an inquiry by MPs on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, chairman of the British Poultry Council, Graeme Dear, said there was a ‘likelihood’ there will be a shortage of UK turkeys for Christmas. 

Around 20 per cent fewer birds have been reared this year on British farms.

The Government recently announced it would allow in 5,500 poultry plant workers on short-term visas, however this came too late to boost the number of turkeys being raised.

Mr Dear said: ‘The irony is we may find ourselves having to import turkey from France and Poland for a British Christmas, probably with some of the very workers we trained and left to go back to their homelands.’

Tom Bradshaw, of the National Farmers’ Union, said the organisation has been involved in constant battles with the Home Office over the need to allow in more foreign workers. 

A seasonal workers scheme allows in some 30,000 foreign workers to help bring in the UK harvest, however the NFU says this needs to be raised to 50,000-60,000.

Mr Bradshaw said: ‘The food waste we are seeing at a farm level… is completely inexcusable.’ 

It comes as a closely watched report found that UK manufacturers raised their prices by the largest amount in at least two decades after a ‘severe’ increase in raw materials and energy costs, as output growth was held back by rising supply chain disruption, staff shortages and declining intakes of new export work. 

According to the IHS Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers survey,  though the PMI was boosted by improved growth of new orders and employment, alongside a steeper rise in stocks of purchases and lengthier vendor lead times, a further slowdown in output growth held back growth.

The index posted 57.8 in October, up from 57.1 in September, rising for the first time in five months. Manufacturing production rose only marginally and at the slowest pace for eight months.    

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