Greggs has become the latest food outlet to be hit by supply chain problems with some products containing chicken missing from its shelves.
The bakery chain said it was seeing “temporary interruptions” in the supply of some ingredients – though there is no problem with its chicken bake products.
It comes a day after fast-food chain McDonald’s pulled milkshake and bottled drinks from its menu due to supply chain issues.
A Greggs spokesperson said: “There are no current supply issues with our chicken bakes and our customers can continue to enjoy these as they usually would.
“Unfortunately, like others, we’re seeing temporary interruptions in supply for some ingredients which occasionally results in shops not being able to maintain full availability on all lines.
“However, we have a wide range of choices in our menu for customers happy to buy an alternative.”
Last week the British Poultry Council, which represents chicken and turkey suppliers, said the industry was facing a labour crisis due to Brexit.
Supply chain shortages have taken their toll across the economy this summer from supermarket shelves and fast-food restaurants to paving specialists and barbecue gas cylinders.
The shortage of an estimated 100,000 lorry drivers, a “pingdemic” forcing employees to stay off work and a lack of workers following Brexit are among factors creating headaches for businesses.
Earlier this week a closely-watched business survey suggested that the issue was already taking its toll on the UK’s economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis that crushed activity in 2020 and at the start of this year.
Greggs, which has more than 2,000 shops across the country, did not specify in its statement the specific nature of its supply chain problems though they are understood to reflect the widespread issue of worker shortages which have been blamed on both Brexit and the pandemic.
Last week, peri-peri chicken brand Nando’s was forced to close 45 restaurants and suspend deliveries as a result of the disruption.
Earlier this month, fast-food chicken chain KFC said some items would be missing.
The British Poultry Council has called on the government to allow overseas workers to be fast-tracked, with the sector reporting vacancies of 16%.
Avara Foods, a major UK poultry supplier, last week dismissed the significance of the “pingdemic” and said it was the Brexit impact on workers that was causing stress on supply chains in multiple sectors.
The wider supply chain disruption problems have affected businesses from M&S – which alluded to the issue in a broadly positive trading update last week – to cleaning products maker McBride, which has warned of a profits slump.
It seems to have to have resulted in consumer-facing companies needing to prioritise.
In the case of the McDonald’s shortage this week, supplier Arla said it had been asked to pause production of its milkshake mix by the fast-food chain as it tried to shore up supply across the rest of its menu.
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