Covid-19: Disruptions affect KFC Australia

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 Jan 2022, 11:34AM
Gone by lunchtime? (Photo / File)
Gone by lunchtime? (Photo / File)

Covid-19: Disruptions affect KFC Australia

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 Jan 2022, 11:34AM

Near the start of the outbreak, then National leader Judith Collins tried to deride a change in lockdown levels by calling level 3 "Level 4 with KFC". 

Instead, she inadvertently created an image that appealed to many Kiwis. Access to fried chicken (and other takeaways) became something of a symbol of returning freedom. 

But now events across the Tasman illustrate a new threat to fast food, and this time it's not from Government restrictions but Omicron. 

On Tuesday, major poultry supplier Inghams said it was suspending deliveries amid critical staff shortages and supply chain disruptions caused by the soaring rate of Covid-19 cases, AFR reports. 

The move is expected to lead to a shortage of products like crumbed schnitzel and chicken kiev in supermarkets. 

The paper says Inghams is a major supplier to ASX-listed Collins Foods, which operates 240 franchised KFC outlets across Australia and is understood to be considering whether it needs to update the market as Inghams is a major supplier of its chicken products. 

"KFC is currently experiencing intermittent supply chain disruptions nationally due to Covid-19 related absenteeism at our chicken suppliers," a spokesman for the chain said. 

"Some of our restaurants are unable to offer our full menu which relies on fresh chicken. We're working with our multiple suppliers to mitigate the impact and provide them with support, but we expect some disruptions." 

One analyst said the disruption could cost Inghams at least A$100m. Collins' shares fell 3.5 per cent on the news. 

Australia saw 103,689 new cases of Covid yesterday, with 632,280 new infections over the past week, with cases heavily concentrated in New South Wales and Victoria. 

Omicron riving shortages, inflation worldwide 

Worldwide, Omicron's impact is affecting products and services, and their prices, across the board. 

In the US, where there were at least 761,000 new Covid infections in the past day (representing a 185 per cent increase of the past fortnight), Omicron has been blamed for surging inflation. 

This morning, it was reported that inflation hit an annualised rate of 7 per cent in December - the fastest rate since 1982. 

Persistent challenges in getting goods from factories to customers continue to drive up the price of cars, computer chips, furniture, food, fuel and other products amid Omicron-related worker shortages, absences and supply chain issues.