Shortage of Walkers Chips Could Last Until End of Month After Computer Glitch | Food industry
UK buyers could face shortages of some of their favorite chips until the end of the month after a botched IT upgrade disrupted the world’s largest chip factory.
Walkers were forced to prioritize its most popular varieties – including cheese and onion, ready-made savory and salt and vinegar, as well as quavers and wotsits – after the problem forced him to slow down production. A spokesperson said “more specialized” varieties had been slowed down.
âA recent computer system upgrade disrupted the supply of some of our products. Our sites still make crisps and snacks, but on a smaller scale, âsaid a spokesperson for Walkers. âWe’re doing everything we can to increase production and put people’s favorites back on the shelves. We are very sorry for the inconvenience caused. â
The computer glitch has added to the problems faced by the UK food industry – as well as most other manufacturers – during months of delays and disruption caused by the pandemic.
Tesco uses cardboard cutouts of fruits, vegetables and other groceries to fill shelf gaps due to supply issues. Shoppers spotted fake carrots in Fakenham, cardboard asparagus in London, photos of oranges and grapes in Milton Keynes, and bottles of 2D washing liquid in Cambridge. Sainsbury’s also used package designs to fill the shelves.
In August, McDonald’s blamed supply chain problems when it was forced to remove milkshakes from its menus in Britain. Chicken restaurant Nando’s had to close its stores due to a poultry shortage, and rival chain KFC had to remove certain items from its menus.
Parts of the food industry have also said they have suffered from labor shortages caused by the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit, with European workers facing more obstacles to work in the UK. Over the past month, UK farms have been forced to slaughter thousands of healthy pigs themselves – meaning they are unsuitable for sale for meat – due to a shortage of workers in slaughterhouses. Some meat processors have also resorted to shipping carcasses to the EU for slaughter, before bringing them back for sale in the UK.
Beyond the food industry, companies have warned of possible future shortages of products ranging from fake tans to toys, with issues ranging from power cuts in China to lack of space for containers and toys. truck drivers once the products reach the UK.
Supply shortages reached their worst level since the mid-1970s, according to surveys by the Confederation of British Industry, the UK’s largest economic lobby group.
Supply chain issues have highlighted the dependence of wealthy economies on âjust-in-timeâ deliveries and automated processes. Walkers’ main crisps factory in Leicester is typically capable of producing up to 5 million bags per day, and production normally only stops on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, according to the Leicester Mercury.
Walkers, which is owned by US conglomerate PepsiCo, is generally relatively profitable. The 2020 accounts showed Walkers profits of Â£ 38million on income of Â£ 265million despite higher health and safety costs due to the pandemic.