KFC customers see cabbage in their burgers and wraps as Australia faces a shortage of lettuce
KFC customers have been told to expect a mix of lettuce and cabbage in their dishes after floods destroyed Australia’s lettuce crop.
With concerns this could impact UK businesses, let’s take a look at the Australian situation and why they are facing a lettuce shortage.
Is there a shortage of lettuce?
Like the rest of the world, Australia is struggling with soaring prices for essential groceries, and photos of individual salads on sale can go for as much as AUD 10 (£5.72).
KFC Australia said on its website: “Due to the recent flooding in New South Wales and Queensland, we are currently experiencing a lettuce shortage.
“That’s why we’re using a lettuce and cabbage mix for all products that contain lettuce until further notice.
“If that’s not your bag, just click ‘adjust’ on your selected product and remove lettuce from the recipe.”
In a statement, the fast-food giant expanded, saying: “We have struck something of an iceberg and are currently experiencing some disruptions to the lettuce supply chain due to the impact of the recent floods in Queensland and NSW
“We are working with our multiple suppliers to offer them support, but we expect there to be more disruption in the coming days. We apologize for any inconvenience, we appreciate you all being Little Gems while we work to get things back to normal as soon as possible.”
Supply chain expert Flavio Macau of Edith Cowan University told AFP that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was also a factor driving up diesel and fertilizer prices.
Has this happened before?
In January 2022, KFC Australia had to change its menu due to the lack of the main ingredient, chicken.
This was caused by a staff shortage at Ingham’s, Australia’s largest chicken supplier, due to the “rapid spread of the Omicron variant across the eastern Australian states” in late 2021.
But that happens to a lot of restaurants.
Last August, McDonald’s announced it had removed milkshakes and bottled drinks from the menu in the UK as supply issues impacted the retail and hospitality sectors.
At the same time, Nando’s was forced to temporarily close more than 40 stores in the UK after a staff shortage hit its chicken supply chain.
In Japan and Singapore, McDonald’s announced a chip shortage in December 2021 and had to ration french fries.
Factors such as the war in Ukraine, the pandemic and the climate crisis that have caused major flooding on Australia’s east coast are driving up the cost of living.
In Australia, the cost of living increased by 5.1% in the first three months of 2022.
The Reserve Bank of Australia raised its main interest rate by half a percentage point to 0.85% and the Reserve Bank of Australia raised borrowing costs in an attempt to control rising inflation.
How did people react?
The people of Australia have not taken kindly to the cabbage-related news. One person wrote on Twitter: “The fact that you’re replacing lettuce with cabbage makes me reconsider my entire meal at KFC. There are 4 or 5 other things I would eat before cabbage. It’s such a strange choice.”
Another wrote: “Feels like a sign of the apocalypse”.
A third tweeted: “Hey @KFCAustralia instead of substituting cabbage for lettuce consider using hash browns instead.”
Could this happen in the UK?
In April 2022, some supermarkets such as Morrisons faced meat and salad shortages. Yorkshire Live reported a customer briefing stating: “Due to disruptions in our supply chain we are seeing low availability of lettuce. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.”
They reported that a number of factors such as the war in Ukraine and the floods in Spain have led to shortages of some foods in UK markets.
However, whether the salad crisis will impact UK KFC restaurants remains to be seen.
https://www.nationalworld.com/news/world/kfc-lettuce-shortage-cabbage-australia-uk-3723248 Is there a shortage of lettuce? Why KFC offers cabbage