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Coles introduces purchase limit on frozen potato chips

The absence of potato chips from shelves may force a rethink of Christmas plans.

december 20, 2022
Coles, a major supermarket chain in Australia has opted to restrict the sale of a popular item in freezers across the country due to a troubling supply shortage.

Coles has imposed a nationwide temporary purchase limit for frozen potato chips (french fries), restricting customers to only two items, as the retailer battles potato supply issues.

Due to supply issues of frozen potato chips, they have introduced a temporary purchase limit of two items per transaction. This will help to maintain availability for all customers. Thank you for your patience, they apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Clarkes Hill potato farmer Rod Guthrie said consecutive wet summers had derailed supply of the vegetables, with farms yielding around half their usual crops in Victoria, Tasmania, NSW and Queensland.
Potato farmers have had an ‘extremely hard year’ due to persistent rain and flooding, Clarkes Hill’s Rod Guthrie said.

Potato farmers have had an ‘extremely hard year’ due to persistent rain and flooding, Clarkes Hill’s Rod Guthrie said.

Rod Guthrie:
"It all started back in January when we got the floods – it wiped a lot of potato crops out and the tonnage was heavily down for this year."
He became emotional as he said the supply shortages would ultimately affect supermarket stock of fresh potatoes as well.

Rod Guthrie:
"It’s been an extremely hard year, the tonnages were down and it’s been a cold and wet winter too which doesn’t help. Supply is not there, it’s not going to be on the shelves and at restaurants, and I’d say by January there will be no supply around hardly."

"The crops are down and we’re back to about half of the usual tonnage."
Widespread potato shortages were flagged in November due to persistent wet weather, with Woolworths Group chief executive Brad Banducci writing to the supermarket’s customers to warn there could be restricted supply of the holiday favourites.

Brad Banducci:
"As the La Nina rains continue on the eastern seaboard, we may see a delayed start to the season for some fresh fruit and vegetables, including cherries and stone fruits."

"The poor weather, especially in Tasmania, has also impacted supply of frozen vegetables (such as corn and potatoes) and potato crisps. In good news, mango season is upon us with more supply on the way."

"We’re working hard to make sure we have enough stock of everything, but please bear with us if you’re currently seeing some gaps."
Woolworths - another major Australian grocery chain - does not have any product limits in place at its supermarkets.