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 possibility 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.
Several products are unavailable on the Tesco website and bare shelves have been seen in some supermarkets, amid a wider crisis across the flood supply chain caused by a chronic shortage of workers and HGV drivers and congestion at global trading ports.
A Walkers spokesperson told a newspaper outlet that a recent IT system upgrade had disrupted the supply of some of their products, but that their sites were still making crisps and snacks but on a reduced scale, and that they were doing everything they could to boost production and get people’s favourites back on the shelves, and they were extremely sorry for the inconvenience caused.
The global supply chain crisis has caused chaos and hampered the UK’s economic recovery,
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.
It’s partly caused by the supply being unable to keep up with the rapidly growing demand as the UK economy reopens. Staff shortages, Brexit, COVID and wider economic conditions are also contributing factors.
Across the UK the food supply chain currently has approximately half a million job vacancies, which represents 12.5 per cent of the total workforce needed.
The haulage sector has also been severely affected by the crisis, with the Government promising to recruit thousands of more lorry drivers for the Christmas season.
A shortage of drivers previously delayed fuel deliveries, which sparked panic buying and a week-long fuel crisis.
Jonathan Neame, chief executive of Shepherd Neame, warned of terrific supply chain squeezes’ on the food and drink industry that’s expected to last for the next six to nine months.
Industry leaders have insisted a combination of Brexit and stringent immigration restrictions, plus coronavirus, where numerous foreign workers chose to go home, have triggered the crisis.
Experts said the HGV driver deficit was 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 cited inadequate wages and the closure of a tax loophole for some drivers.
The thing is, nobody has ever died from not having Wotsits on the shelves, but empty supermarket racks is a clear sign that Brexit has failed, and, now, it means that there’s going to be less choice for the consumer, and the British economy is going to drive with the handbrake pulled on for years and decades to come.
It means there will be less growth, less investment, and less competitiveness, or are the crisp companies being paid by the media to report a crisp shortage so that we’ll all start panic buying, just like the petrol crisis? And there was me worrying for a moment there that it was something important that would be out of stock.
And I’m sure the world will survive if we never see another crisp again. Mind you when you open a pack of Walkers crisps, you only seem to get a few in there these days – hardly worth even opening the packet.