KFC Japan runs out of fries, halts sales


Kentucky Fried Chicken in Japan has stopped selling fries as a U.S. labor dispute that has crimped vital potato exports from the West Coast took another bite out of the Japanese fast food market.

The chain became the latest casualty of a chip shortage that forced McDonald’s Japan to temporarily ration servings.

“Due to the prolonged dockworkers’ disputes on the United States West Coast, it has become difficult to secure stable supplies of potatoes,” the firm said in a statement dated Thursday.

“The company will halt the sales of potatoes temporarily until a stable supply becomes available.”

Chip troubles for “The Colonel” came after McDonald’s Japan said last month it had airlifted in more than 1,000 tons of potatoes and had arranged an emergency shipment via an unusual sea route.

The airlift eased the shortage, which had forced the chain to limit customers to small servings of fries.

That came after the operator of the Gusto restaurant chain said it planned to airlift in around 200 tons of french fries to avoid running short.

Dockworkers on the West Coast are reportedly in the midst of a go-slow campaign and have not been providing full crews for months in a bid to gain leverage in labor negotiations with employers.