Shortage of fries worldwide? Is there a global potato scarcity taking place? So far, here’s what we know.

Shortage of Fries worldwide in 2022
Shortage of Fries worldwide in 2022

It Isn’t Just About Us (For Better or Worse)

We’re not alone; in fact, there’s been a bit of a French-fry conundrum all over the world. Outside of the Philippines, McDonald‘s in Malaysia and Indonesia temporarily halted the sale of large-size fries. In February, a number of KFC Singapore stores replaced side orders of french fries with Waffle Hash.

Even as far back as December 2021, McDonald’s Japan was said to be restricting its fries and only selling the spuds in tiny serving sizes. In January, KFC in Kenya claimed that they had “ran out” of their fries (also known as “chips” in Kenya).

So, what’s going on here?

According to the Washington Post as far back as January 2022, there is a “skyrocketing global potato shortage,” which is largely due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and “severe weather.”

You may imagine that when you hear the words shortage of fries worldwide, you’re thinking about potatoes—the raw material, the vegetable.

True enough, the potato-chip crisis in South Africa is blamed on “frost conditions” that are alleged to have harmed crop yields, interrupting the spud supply chain (at least for the specific kind used to create potato chips).

In November 2021, Canada halted potato exports from Prince Edward Island to the United States after discovering a potato wart fungus in two farms the month before.

However, no wart was discovered during a survey by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and Canada is anticipated to begin exporting Prince Edward Island (PEI) potatoes to the United States soon.

Shortage of Fries worldwide due to supply challenges

Given the supply challenges resulting from transportation issues, you’d think these restaurants would acquire their potatoes from somewhere else—say, locally.

The chip scarcity at KFC Kenya not only disappointed residents who had to put their appetites on hold for the time being, but it also raised questions about why there was a “shortage” when their own local potatoes were in season.

At least from these perspectives, it appears that a lot of things happened around the world that influenced our need for potatoes.

So, although we practice portion control with our fries, the thought of all the ways these spuds ended up on our fast-food tables is now in the back of our thoughts.

What can I say about this global challenges?

I am still hoping and drooling for Mcdonald’s fries whenever I open my Grab app to order food daily. For now, I will just satisfy my cravings on frying my own fries from SnR.


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