Singapore Hit by French Fry Shortage Amid Global Disruption

by BLOOMBERG

SOUTHEAST ASIAN fast-food chains are being hit by a shortage of french fries as supply-chain snarls slow shipments of the frozen item.

Signs at some of Yum Brands Inc.’s KFC outlets in Singapore informed customers that the company would replace side orders of french fries with potato waffles due to a “global supply disruption.” McDonald’s Corp. stores in Malaysia and Indonesia halted sales of large-size portions of fries late last month for the same reason, according to company notices posted on Twitter.

A spokeswoman for KFC in Singapore wasn’t immediately able to comment.

Global supply chains have come under pressure from the omicron virus variant in recent months due to increased customs checks at ports and labor shortages across the transport sector.

McDonald’s was forced to ration french fries in Japan late last year after flooding at a Vancouver port and the coronavirus choked off supplies. Fast-food chains generally use shipped frozen fries, rather than sourcing potatoes closer to stores and making them themselves.

It’s unclear where KFC Singapore’s french fries are coming from, but container goods entering the country’s port have been facing longer delays than usual. An average of 17 container ships per day waited to berth at the world’s second busiest port in January, up from 15 vessels in December, according to logistics intelligence firm project44.