Supply Shortage Hits Even Britain’s Beloved Crisps

The United Kingdom is facing a shortage of crunch.  

After weathering the panic purchasing at gas stations due to shortage of fuel and skyrocketing domestic heating costs, the British public must now face a new scarcity – that of crisps, or potato chips, one of the most favorite snacks of the country.

Following an IT system upgrade at Walkers, the largest maker of chips in the UK, the crisp shelves at supermarkets and shops throughout the country have been left empty. The shortfall might linger for several weeks.

While concerns with the system update have been resolved by the company, facilities would not be able to ramp up to near-full production capacity until the end of November, resulting in lower volume and selection at retailers, said Walkers, which is owned by PepsiCo.

“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,” said a spokesperson for Walkers, which is based in Leicester, central England.

“We’re doing everything we can to increase production and get people’s favorites back on shelves. We’re very sorry for the inconvenience caused,” the company said.

Walkers is focusing on manufacturing its most popular crisp flavors, such as Cheese & Onion, Ready Salted, and Salt & Vinegar, as well as Quavers and Wotsits from its snacking line, as its first option.

However, consumers have been prompted to purchase chips or crisps of other brands because of the Walkers’ crisps shortages, resulting in empty shelves – in a year that has seen supply chains stressed by a post-Brexit scarcity of truck drivers as well as global supply problems created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Milkshakes and bottled beverages were removed by McDonald’s from its menu in August, while Nando’s, a fast food chain rival of the company in the UK, has also closed don roughly 50 locations owing to personnel shortages in its chicken supply chain. 

Crisps are one of the most popular snacks in the United Kingdom, where they may be found in packed lunches for youngsters, swallowed together with pints in bars, or consumed semi-secretly on couches as a condiment to television drama.

During Cvoid-19 lockdowns, the British consumers consumed so many snacks that the government funded advertising urging them to eat more healthy food.

According to data from market researcher Kantar, on average, consumers in Britain eat about two 25-gram packets of potato chips every week, and 141,000 metric tonnes of crisps are sold in the country each year.

Crisps were invented in the early nineteenth century, according to many traditions and claimants on both sides of the Atlantic.

Crisps had grown in popularity by the twentieth century and it was a great business. Walkers was established in Leicester in 1948 as a local butcher who shifted from selling meat to selling crisps owing to post-World War II restrictions.

According to Kantar, the total market value of crisps, popcorn, almonds, and other savory snacks in the United Kingdom increased 13.1 per cent to 3.8 billion pounds ($5.1 billion) in the fiscal year ending December 27, 2020.

(Adapted fro


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