The U.K is experiencing a sweet potato shortage due to low volumes coming out of the United States. According to supermarkets the shortage is worse that was expected and the consumers are displeased at the high prices. Reports say that the levels are 1/20th of the normal levels.
The shortage is due to some heavy rainfall in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Alabama. Furthermore, the North Carolina crop from 2018 was severely affected by Hurricane Florence, and after this bad harvest their stores were depleted completely. Though their harvest this year was back up to average numbers, it wasn’t enough to make up for the losses of 2018.
The U.K. gets most of their sweet potatoes from the U.S., followed by supplies from Egypt and Spain. Some of the product is procured out of Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras but it has not been enough to cover the shortages. Attempts to import sweet potatoes out of China have proven unsuccessful.
In a statement, Aldi said: “Like other supermarkets we have been affected by this industry-wide issue. We are working with our suppliers to minimize disruption for our customers.”
One shopper said: ‘I’ve been into half a dozen large supermarkets and to local grocers and there is simply none to be had. One grocer said he would have to charge more than £2 each and that the shortage could last until the end of the year.”
Sainsbury’s said its stores were running low as did Waitrose, Asda, Tesco and Morrisons.