UPDATE 1-UK crisp shortage continues at one in three stores

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LONDON, Nov 18 (Businesshala) – Nearly one in three British stores remains short of crisps, according to data released by the Office for National Statistics following production difficulties at a major supplier.

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Walker, part of PepsiCo, Britain’s largest crisp producer, had to cut production of the popular potato snack at the beginning of the month after problems with an IT system upgrade that could take weeks to fix.

According to market research by Kantar Public, published by the Office for National Statistics, some 4% of stores visited between November 12 and November 15 did not have multipacks of Crisps, while 26% had only limited supplies.

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Kantar said Britons eat an average of two packets of crisps every week.

Frozen turkeys — which were the rarest product last week when Kantar ignored crispy supplies — had more or less no availability at 15% of stores.

The poultry industry, which has been suffering from post-Brexit immigration restrictions and a labor shortage due to COVID-19, said on Monday there would be enough whole turkeys for Christmas but a limited range of other products.

The UK, like other Western economies emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, has faced sporadic shortages of specific goods in recent months. But problems in Britain have been exacerbated by Brexit, which limits employers’ ability to hire workers from mainland Europe – most obviously last month when there were long queues at petrol stations.

Separately, the ONS said consumer spending on credit and debit cards fell slightly below 101% of its pre-pandemic average in the week to November 11, according to non-seasonal data from the Bank of England.

The weekly data release showed little change in the amount of online job ads or restaurant reservations, both of which are above pre-pandemic levels. (Reporting by David Milliken, Editing by Estelle Shirban)

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