KFC Australia forced to swap lettuce for cabbage
By Peter Hoskins
Fast food giant KFC has been forced to put cabbage in its burgers and wraps in Australia as the country is struggling with a shortage of lettuce.
The firm told customers it is using a mixture of lettuce and cabbage after floods destroyed lettuce crops.
It comes as shoppers in Australia have been hit with soaring prices for some fresh fruits and vegetables.
Social media users have posted photos of lettuces costing over A$10 ($7.18; £5.72), three times the usual price.
On its website KFC Australia said: "Due to the recent floods in NSW [New South Wales] and QLD [Queensland] we're currently experiencing a lettuce shortage. So, we're using a lettuce and cabbage blend on all products containing lettuce until further notice."
"If that's not your bag, simply click 'Customise' on your chosen product and remove Lettuce from the Recipe," it added, signing off with a smiley face emoji.
It is not the first time this year that the company has been hit with shortages of food items.
In January, KFC Australia had to modify its menu due to a lack of its key ingredient, chicken.
That was caused by a shortage of staff at Australia's biggest chicken supplier, Ingham's, due to the "rapid spread of the Omicron variant across eastern Australian states" at the end of last year.
Meanwhile, the world's biggest fast food company McDonald's suffered a shortage of chips in some of its Asian outlets, including those in Japan and Singapore, due to the global supply chain crisis.
Like countries around the world, Australia has been hit by food supply chain issues caused by the war in Ukraine and the pandemic.
Australia's own food production has also been affected by extreme weather events such as major flooding on the east coast earlier this year.
That helped drive up the cost of living for Australians, with consumer prices surging by 5.1% in the first three months of 2022.
It was the highest rate of inflation in the country for 20 years, with expectations that it could rise even higher.
On Tuesday, Australia's central bank raised the cost of borrowing by more than expected as it tries to control surging inflation.
The Reserve Bank of Australia increased its main interest rate by half a percentage point to 0.85%.
It said it made the decision due to rising prices caused by a number of issues, including Covid-related supply chain disruptions, the war in Ukraine and Australia's floods.