Photo: SoraNews24
business

KFC Japan suspends French fry sales after running out of potatoes

51 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

There’s nothing wrong with indulging in a little comfort food after a hard week at work or school, and no doubt the mouths of KFC fans were watering as they made their way to the chain’s branches in Japan last weekend. Unfortunately, many of them had to walk away with less than the full fried satisfaction they’d been hoping for when they saw this.

Screen-Shot-2021-10-.png

That’s a notice from KFC Japan saying that they’re out of French fries, and not in the sense of “We’ve got a batch in the fryer, but it’s not ready yet.” No, what the poster says is that the restaurant is entirely out of potatoes, and so it’s stopped selling French fries until it can get more, a process that’s going to take weeks.

Once again, the reason for this jarring roadblock to one of life’s simplest and purest forms of happiness is the coronavirus. The pandemic is continuing to cause problems for the shipping and logistics industries, and the disruption of the supply routes for KFC Japan’s potatoes, which the chain imports, forced the company to start suspending French fry sales starting last Friday.

The sudden disappearance of KFC’s fries has left a hole in the heart of fans, who’ve taken to Twitter to grieve together with comments like;

“It’s true. I went to KFC and they were all out.”

“I’m in shock.”

“This has got me surprisingly shaken up on an emotional level.”

“Crazy how many things are affected by the coronavirus.”

Not every KFC branch has suspended French fry sales, but without new shipments of potatoes coming in it’s probably more accurate to think of them as simply not having suspended them yet. KFC currently expects to be able to start selling French fries again on October 21, though even that golden light at end of the tunnel is tentative, and may vary by branch, the company says.

Source: KFC Japan via IT MediaTwitter

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Kentucky Fried Chicken installs fried chicken pick-up lockers in Tokyo, two other cities【Video】

-- Pumpkin maple churros coming to the menu at KFC Japan to celebrate Halloween

-- KFC now sells sauce by the bottle in Japan!

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

51 Comments
Login to comment

Potatoes are so cheap in the U.S. it's not worth the hassle of growing them yourself

I don't grow spuds to save money. I go through the 'hassle' (actually I enjoy gardening and growing things, so it's not so much hassle as anticipation) of putting them in the ground and waiting months because no shop-bought spud can compare in taste with your own freshly-dug spuds.

Washed, boiled, lightly salted and dabbed with butter. Sheer heaven.

Money can't buy that taste sensation.

it's potatoes, varieties can grow anywhere

Different soils, different climates, you don't always get the same results. Better to choose the varieties that work where you are.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Potatoes are so cheap in the U.S. it's not worth the hassle of growing them yourself unless you want the red or purple flesh potatoes. $1.99 for 5lbs or 225 yen for 2.26 kilograms for Russets $2.99 for Yukon Golds.

When does Japan get potatoes from?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They taste fine but my blood pressure can't handle all that salt.

Order them with no salt, guaranteed to get fresh hot fries every time!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

why not just grow the potatoes in Japan? it's potatoes, varieties can grow anywhere

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

KFC has fries? Are they out of mashed potatoes? I cannot remember ever getting fries at any KFC anywhere in the world.

McD's does an amazing job at their supply chain. Better than almost everyone else ... except perhaps H.E.B. Even Walmart runs out of stuff, but H.E.B. seems to have a crystal ball and "knows" what we want before we go shopping. For a long time, McDs didn't have tomatoes on anything because they couldn't find a supplier who could/would commit to the required amount. At the time, I had a sister that was a McDs storage manager.

The primary issue with McD's isn't supply, but mechanical issues - with their ice cream dispensers. There's actually a website dedicated to knowing if the ice cream machine is broken or not: https://mcbroken.com/

Chip troubles for "The Colonel" came after McDonald's in Japan said last month it had airlifted in more than 1,000 tonnes of potatoes and had put in place emergency shipment via an unusual sea route.

5-Guys is an expensive burger chain in the US. They post the actual potato farm and name of the farmer on their menu so you know where the potatoes came from. They almost always come from Idaho. Think I've only see one time where they came from somewhere else. The amount of fries they put in the bag is like 5 Lrg servings anywhere else. Get the Cajun fries and plan to share the half-pound burger with at least 1 other person. Idaho is quite beautiful and plain - just depends where you are in the state. I've only spent a few weeks there, but it was a nice trip. I suppose that could be said about most states ... except Kansas. It is just plains.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

All fries in Japan are tasteless garbage. KFC's are amongst the worst.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"except if somethings happen in the UK, then all the non-conservatives tell us it's Brexit's fault

Do those non-conservatives include the Road Haulage Association?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/57810729"

Or this?!

"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cnjH-6Qzkw"

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The sudden disappearance of KFC’s fries has left a hole in the heart of fans, who’ve taken to Twitter to grieve together

Also discovering their food supply rely on importation from foreign countries while the JA Group lobby tries to make them believe the opposite.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Didn’t this happen a while back with the spuds? Engineered crisis. I like the chicken but what is up with that coleslaw?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My favourite fries are made from Bintje potatoes... unfortunately, you can't get them here....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Just curious @Yrral 10:50p why ‘always’ zichi?

- “…are you making some fish & chips”

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Zichi potatoes will last forever,if stored right,just bought a bag of tater tots,are you making some fish and chips

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Hmmmmmm. I am curious where they source their potatoes from. Do they only use 1 specific variety? Are their potatoes grown under contract?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Don't know who cooked those French fries in the photo . 

Looks like crap.

They sure do. I do have to admit that my kids both love cold fries, they would eat that straight out of the fridge, cold and starchy.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Don't know who cooked those French fries in the photo .

Looks like crap.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

No potatoes?

Eat rice then!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ooer and golly gosh, bass admitting to breaking’ da lor!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Wow, what a ‘downer’ ****@Martimurano 9:36pm. We haven’t seen one “emotional” or “shaken” post as ONLY You allege. - MOST here were just laughing at the non-Newsworthyness(?) of this piece and just making jokes or their own conversations about growing their own foods. Way to bring down the room when when we get the realities of Covid ELSEWHERE if we want.

@Martimurano 9:36pm.“I feel sorry for the poor commenters… "in shock", "surprisingly shaken up on an emotional level" when they realised ...They should try working in a Coronavirus hospital ward, and their sense of proportion may return....”

Made yourself feel better? - What have You personally done or who have You loss? - Some of us have and don’t need to be reminded in every thread. - (Learn to read the room, for Christ’s sake!)

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@Zichi Thanks for that list! Very useful! Never seen Idaho potatoes here. Most of the American potatoes I've seen have been in the form of frozen french fries or hash browns!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I feel sorry for the poor commenters who were "in shock", or "surprisingly shaken up on an emotional level" when they realised they couldn't have their KFC fries.

They should try working in a Coronavirus hospital ward, and their sense of proportion may return....

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Even if we colluded bring in Yukon Gold the propagate and cultivate potatoes from the “eyes”, it’s the same soil conditions of the NW that would be hard to duplicate.

There is some truth in that, didn't have so much luck with the Yukon Gold, so I gave up on that one.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

oops! Nix “colluded” and replace with “could”. - (Don’t want to alarm the CT’s)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In Japan @bass4funk, most corn & flour tortillas I’ve seen, the El Paso & Corona brands at Seiyu, TRIAL & Kaldi, are labeled “imported from Australia” rather that Mexico or the U.S. Even if we colluded bring in Yukon Gold the propagate and cultivate potatoes from the “eyes”, it’s the same soil conditions of the NW that would be hard to duplicate.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I was commenting more on commercial importing, thousands of tons of Idaho potatoes.

I didn't know that, but I just cared about bringing some of that tasty potato with to plant, grow and consume.

Have you never seen Idaho potatoes for sale here?

Have not seen them, nor eaten them. but I have a ton now over the last 4 years, I just keep re-planting them and I never run out of them or the red potatoes.

Do you declare them at customs?

Nope!

I’m pretty sure they’re very strict about bringing in viable plants.

Yes, they are and that's why I hid them at the time.

I like to grow Inca no Mezame and Inca no Hitomi. I love Matilda and buy them from the Coop (the only place that stocks them round here) but have never had much success growing them. Maybe I have the wrong kind of soil.

I won’t lose any sleep over shortages of fast food chips.

The great thing about potatoes is that they just grow like crazy and throughout the winter and by Spring, they are just everywhere.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

1 or 2 and plant them as a matter of fact

Do you declare them at customs? I’m pretty sure they’re very strict about bringing in viable plants.

I like to grow Inca no Mezame and Inca no Hitomi. I love Matilda and buy them from the Coop (the only place that stocks them round here) but have never had much success growing them. Maybe I have the wrong kind of soil.

I won’t lose any sleep over shortages of fast food chips.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I think potatoes are difficult to import. They don't travel very well.

True, but for the 12-hour trip it was easy to put in my check-in luggage.

Japan allows the import of Idaho chipping potatoes after 11 years (2017). 28,000 tons of American spuds are imported.

I have never seen American potatoes for sale here.

Probably used in processed foods like crisps.

I don't know anything about that since I don't eat chips. I prefer corn tortilla chips.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Best fries I recall were from childhood days in NW Pennsylvania where you would order a basket of fries, they would grab a big potato, put it in a contraption to make long pinky width square fries, then fry them in front of you in peanut oil I think and they were pretty well done. Then you would add vinegar and ketchup to taste.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

except if somethings happen in the UK, then all the non-conservatives tell us it's Brexit's fault

Do those non-conservatives include the Road Haulage Association?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/57810729

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Will back you up on the better quality Yukon Gold & Idaho Russets @bass4funk 7:21pm for the Pacific Northwest. - Also, seems like just last week we touch on the poor KFC quality of chicken(?) in Japan?

Oct 2, ‘21 ”KFC releases bold garlic soy sauce chicken in Japan for fall menu”

Man, @bass4funk 10;23am, some piping-hot, right out of the deep fryer, Popeye’s (EXTRA Crispy), Bojangle’s or even, Church’s would be awesome (even with a little of this KFC sauce, on the side) would be awesome Today! Are they available anywhere in Japan? Perhaps on one of the U.S. military bases? I would gladly “Thank them for their service”, so to speak.

https://japantoday.com/category/features/food/kfc-releases-bold-garlic-soy-sauce-chicken-in-japan-for-fall-menu

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

KFC in Japan is terrible! Too much oil and less and less flavor…seems like the staff don’t have skills to make the product or just cost cutting measures! Japanese fried chicken sold in other restaurants are much better!

True and NO sides! No beans, No mashed potatoes, No macaroni. Just chicken and often strange flavors, now I get it, Japan can do what it wants and they cater to the market, but it's just not my taste and I can't even choose my own parts, I can get what they give me, so No thanks. KFC is tolerable, but overall I don't eat a lot of fried chicken in Japan because I just don't like saggy skin, I am always amazed at how the Japanese can enjoy greasy soggy skin, just not for me.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

KFC in Japan is terrible! Too much oil and less and less flavor…seems like the staff don’t have skills to make the product or just cost cutting measures! Japanese fried chicken sold in other restaurants are much better!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A trip for take away at KFC or Macca's always includes fries for me. If they have no fries then I would go elsewhere. They must be losing quite a bit of business from this shortage.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So you bring them back by the sack when you make a yearly visit home?

1 or 2 and plant them as a matter of fact.

So I guess you don't eat potatoes here then.

Sometimes, but it's not that I am ecstatic by eating the potatoes here, but at home, I have my red, and russets

Ah well! There's always the sweet potato.

I grow them from back home as well. The Japanese ones are way too dry for my taste.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They taste fine but my blood pressure can't handle all that salt.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Local farmer's markets are always the best source.

I tried most of them, but meh....prefer the Idaho russets or Yukon Gold more.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

KFC has the worst potatoes. McDonald’s and Mos burger are much better

Not a fan of Japanese potatoes, too hard and bland, prefer the Idaho Russet or the Yukon Gold, nice and creamy.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

A KFC shortage while McDonald’s has an abundance. Mac’s current promo is ANY size for only ¥150.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Welcome to the global supply-chain crunch. These bottlenecks are taking place in plenty of countries, except if somethings happen in the UK, then all the non-conservatives tell us it's Brexit's fault.

Yes, I'm still waiting for the plague of locusts and the sky to fall in. Anyday now all due to Brexit.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Their カーネリングポテト (don't know the English) was good, but time-limited as it happens. Regular fries - I'm not gonna miss it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Welcome to the global supply-chain crunch. These bottlenecks are taking place in plenty of countries, except if somethings happen in the UK, then all the non-conservatives tell us it's Brexit's fault.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Never get their fries, always opt for a biscuit instead!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

KFC fries are deep fried mush! Why in the hell anyone would care is beyond me!

5 ( +13 / -8 )

KFC potatoes taste like potatoes. McYD's taste like trans-fat grease here in Japan.

12 ( +18 / -6 )

KFC has the worst potatoes. McDonald’s and Mos burger are much better

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites