A massive shortage of lettuce in Australia has led to a huge increase in its costs. The spike in costs has forced American fast-food restaurant KFC to finalize the decision to put cabbage instead of lettuce in its burgers.
The company has informed all of its customers that it will use a blend of lettuce and cabbage throughout its restaurants, noting the supply chain disruptions after heavy flooding all over the east coast wiped out the majority of the lettuce crop earlier this year.
Australian customers have also been hit with unreasonably high prices for the humble salad ingredient in the grocery aisles. Moreover, the Shoppers are venting on social media about paying about A$12 ($8.61) for a head of iceberg lettuce, and steeper prices for other products, with costs upward of A$25 for a watermelon.
Moreover, the year 2022 has seen no shortage of food supply hiccups, including from lettuce to poultry.
It is at least the second time this year that KFC Australia has been left without a ready supply of significant components for some of its most renowned offerings. It had to crop menu items in January amid shortages of chicken.
Along with this, the shock for fruits and vegetables in Australia is mainly because of the climate events such as flooding, as per the government forecaster Abares. The nation is still grappling with pandemic-related supply chain disruptions, persistent labour shortages, and access to necessary imported machinery.
Abares mentioned in its quarterly outlook Tuesday, “In normal times, prices of fruit and vegetable tend to recover relatively rapidly and return to normal as production in other areas becomes available to fill supply gaps.”
“However, in 2022–23, almost every aspect of the supply chain is facing inflationary pressures.”
Furthermore, consumer prices for fruit and vegetable in Australia increase robustly in the month of March quarter, by 4.9 per cent & 6.6 per cent, respectively, according to the Bears.