Here's why your packet of potato crisps is in short supply, and prices may spike
- Early winter cold snaps have almost decimated the potato supply in South Africa, says Messaris Nuts and Crisps GM
- There are currently potato shortages
- Cooking oil prices have also skyrocketed this year as well as the crisp packaging
Have you noticed how the price of potatoes has gone up in recent weeks? Or have you perhaps noticed how your favourite potato chips crisps are unavailable, asks Refilwe?
That's because there's a national shortage of potatoes at the moment as a result of frost and heavy rain in the potato-growing regions this winter.
To find out how this has impacted your ability to snack while binge-watching, Refilwe speaks to Nick Messaris of Messaris Nuts and Crisps, the oldest potato crisp manufacturer in South Africa and based in Cape Town.
We've had a rather bad potato crop in South Africa. Farmers in the northeast of the country have had almost a disastrous crop due to the cold snaps that we had earlier in the winter.Nick Messaris, GM - Messaris Nuts and Crisps
This has resulted in very poor crop yields which impact price, he notes.
Potatoes at market, are currently priced between R80 to R100 per kilogram from a previous average of R40 to R60 per kilogram.
The potato price has effectively doubled he acknowledges.
We are actually sitting without a potato supply at the moment. We've had an intermittent supply over the last three weeks.Nick Messaris, GM - Messaris Nuts and Crisps
He says Messaris is trying to source potatoes wherever they can but the competition from major players such as Simba and Willards and even McCain add to the pressure.
Everybody is pretty much in the same boat.Nick Messaris, GM - Messaris Nuts and Crisps
Another crucial input is vegetable oil which has spiked due to the economic downturn due to Covid-19 lockdowns internationally, he says.
it has slowed down supply. Containers have been held up for months because ports were working at 50%.Nick Messaris, GM - Messaris Nuts and Crisps
He says crisp packaging is also impacted by this industry as well in the petrochemical sector.
Even the flavouring has gone up in price.
Messaris says the uprisings caused many retailers to close down which has also reduced the number of stores they supply.
In terms of the potato price, as new crops are harvested, I believe you will see a normalisation and the prices will definitely come down again.Nick Messaris, GM - Messaris Nuts and Crisps
Source : https://pixabay.com/photos/chips-shell-salty-delicious-crispy-476359/