Greggs, Costa and Wetherspoons hit with mounting UK supply chain woes

·2 min read
LISBURN, UNITED KINGDOM - 2021/08/06: People walk past Greggs Hot Food Store on Bow Street in Lisburn. (Photo by Michael McNerney/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Greggs said it was experiencing supply issues for some ingredients. Photo: Michael McNerney/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

Greggs (GRG.L), Costa and Wetherspoons (JDW.L) are the latest outlets to be swept up in the ongoing UK supply chain crisis, having to pivot to alternative products as they try to plug gaps. 

Wetherspoons said it was working with alternative suppliers to replace some items on its menu, but that it is able to offer its full food and drink menu in its pubs.

Meanwhile, Greggs denied previous reports there were issues with the supply of chicken bakes with a spokesperson saying "customers can continue to enjoy these as they usually would."

The chain did not specify which items it was having issues with but said it was "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.”

Coffee chain Costa is offering a reduced menu, with reports claiming the chain had run out of coffee in some locations. 

Read more: Get ex-cons driving lorries to ease HGV crisis, says logistics boss

Costa had not responded to Yahoo Finance UK's requests for comment at the time of publication. 

These are the latest casualties of a COVID and Brexit-induced supply chain bottleneck that has stopped consumers getting their favourite treats. 

Earlier this week, McDonalds said it had a nationwide outage of milkshakes. KFC also said it had run out of cheese and salt sachets in some outlets, as well as having to pivot to "emergency" packaging as its branded bags hadn't been delivered. 

Supply shortages could also hit as far ahead as Christmas, suppliers warned, as the future availability of pigs-in-blankets and roast potatoes was put into question. 

Read more: Roast potatoes and pigs-in-blankets: the Christmas foods under threat 

Grocery chains are also feeling the crunch. Earlier this week, Co-op boss Steve Murrells said food "shortages are at a worse level than at any time I have seen."

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) reported in July that there is a shortage of 100,000 drivers and warned the situation has reached a “crisis point” with critical supply chains failing.

It said that many drivers have gone back to their home countries either due to uncertainty over new Brexit rules, or because of UK’s COVID-related lockdown restrictions. Many have not returned.

On top of this, HGV (heavy goods vehicle) drivers are made up of an ageing population that is retiring; and there is a major backlog of tests needed to be taken before drivers can qualify to operate lorries, because the tests were put on hold during the pandemic.

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