McDonald’s supplier provides milkshake update as food shortages spread


McDonald’s has been joined by Subway and Wetherspoons in tackling food supply to stores, with a shortage of truck drivers meaning the disruption is expected to continue.

Dairy giant Arla provided an update on supply chain issues that have kept McDonald’s from selling milkshakes, confirming that it has been asked to stop sending milkshake mixes to the fast food chain.

The dairy cooperative said it was also affected, with around 10% of its deliveries to 2,400 retail stores across Britain unable to move forward.

The Subway sandwich chain confirmed it was also experiencing shortages of some fresh produce, but insisted any disruption to what could be offered to customers was minimal.

Likewise, Wetherspoon pubs are bracing for supply shortages, a spokesperson said. The independent.

The milkshake problem first became apparent on Monday when the company stopped selling the drinks, along with many other bottled drinks, across all of its 1,250 restaurants in Britain.

Now, a spokesperson for Arla has confirmed that McDonald’s has asked him to temporarily stop producing his milkshake blend while he works to fix issues across his menu.

“We are working closely with McDonald’s to ensure that we support them in their management of the supply chain issues facing retailers across the UK,” the spokesperson said. “We are ready to support McDonald’s as soon as milkshakes return to the menu.”

In addition, Arla has also been affected by the shortage of truck drivers, which is believed to be the result of both the Brexit deal and the Covid pandemic.

“Although this is disrupting our supply chain, we have continued to collect milk from our owners and are working closely with our logistics partners and customers to minimize the impact in stores,” the spokesperson added. .

“The impact of the driver shortage problem is rippling through our deliveries of fresh milk to stores, where, on average, we are unable to provide around 10% of the approximately 2,400 direct store deliveries we make every day. . “

In addition to producing many of its own branded products, Arla is also a major supplier of dairy products to all major UK supermarkets.

A spokesperson for Subway said the company is seeing “minor shortages in the supply chain for some fresh produce,” but said disruption to customers has been “minimal” so far. “We understand that supply chain pressure is something that a lot of the industry is experiencing right now. “

All Wetherspoon pubs have enough food and drink to stay open and offer full menus, a company spokesperson said. The independent, but problems may loom on the horizon.

“We are aware of possible shortages in certain products and in these cases we are working in groups with alternative suppliers,” added the spokesperson.

Last week, Nando’s was forced to temporarily close some 50 restaurants after suffering from a chicken shortage.

In an effort to address the issue, the government said it was streamlining the process for new drivers to obtain a heavy truck license and had temporarily relaxed the rules on how long drivers can go before having to make a truck license. pause.

Arla said the driver shortage was a problem in the industry before Brexit and the pandemic, but had been dramatically exacerbated. It planned to open a driving academy program at its five depots, using apprenticeship tax funds to support and train new drivers.

Tom Southall, Policy Officer at the Cold Chain Federation, said The independent the problem was likely to persist for some time and could disrupt the Christmas trading period.

“Fruits and vegetables, things that we are used to having fresh and having a few days before Christmas might not be available in the quantities we are used to, especially the products that cannot be frozen.” , did he declare.

“Large food chains must prioritize certain products over others. Companies have to make some very tough decisions about what to offer, what to get through their supply chains, and what to offer their consumers. I think we’ll see this for a while.

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