Brits are facing a shocking crisp shortage following a major technical glitch at a Walkers factory.
Production at the Walkers factory in Beaumont Leys, Leicester, has been severely depleted for weeks following an IT upgrade, and now some of our favourites such as Quavers and Wotsits are starting to disappear from shelves.
Walkers, which is part of the global PepsiCo group, has said that they are working around the clock to solve the crisis amid reports that competitors such as KP have seen demand for their products skyrocket.
A spokeswoman confirmed that a list of products reported on the Grocer trade website had been affected including multipacks of cheese and onion crisps, baked ready salted, Quavers, Wotsits and French Fries, reports Business Live.
She said: “We are currently experiencing disruption to the supply of some of our Walkers snacks products, as a result of a recent IT system upgrade.
“We’re very sorry for the inconvenience and would like to reassure everyone that we are working round the clock to increase supply.
“We’re incredibly grateful to all our colleagues in Leicester and our other sites for their hard work and dedication as we work through this issue.”
A spokesman for the Poundstretcher group said they had seen deliveries of Walkers products plummet in recent weeks.
He said: “They had a change to their systems and the change has taken much longer than expected.
“In our last order, instead of getting 26 pallets – which is equivalent to a truckload – we received seven cases, which is not even a pallet full. It is that bad.
“I was in Tesco the other day and the crisps shelves were empty, so I think the bigger supermarkets are being affected more severely as their sales are higher volume.”
Right now the homepage for multipacks on the Asda website lists KP products such as McCoy’s crisps, Hula Hoops, Discos and Wheat Crunchies along with Jacobs mini cheddars.
Walkers Monster Munch and French Fries are currently hidden away at the bottom of the page.
In September PepsiCo said it had completed a £14 million upgrade of its Southern Region Distribution Centre in Beaumont Leys, its largest UK distribution site. It was one of the biggest investments it has made in the UK.
A new building, it said, with “state-of-the-art equipment and technology” would increase storage capacity at the warehouse site by 29%.
It said the investment would allow crisps to be distributed to supermarkets and retail partners more efficiently.
A spokesperson explained: “As part of the new building, the latest automated technology has been installed to retrieve and move pallets of stock more efficiently.”
At the end of September site lead Andy Smethurst said: “After two years of planning and execution, our new SRDC building is now open for business, and set to dramatically change our logistics operation.
“It will create more efficiencies, more capacity, and importantly also take miles off the road so we can reduce our carbon footprint.
“We’re confident that this will allow us to serve our retail customers with more agility, while also ensuring the future success of our distribution centre.”
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