New Zealand hit by liquor and chicken nugget shortages in aftermath of pandemic

New Zealand is currently going through a major dearth of bourbon, craft beer and chicken nuggets due to the ongoing food shortages. Due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, the supply chain has been disrupted all around the world and the situation is not much different in New Zealand.  “It’s a pain all right,” said Neil, a worker at the Bottle-O store in Mt Eden told The Guardian. “There’s a shortage of bourbon at the moment. We can’t get anything from out of America, apparently.”

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Brendon Lawry, the chief executive of Liquorland NZ chain, also confirmed the current shortage as suppliers around New Zealand “have been experiencing shortages of bourbon for production of RTDs for the last four to six months”. RTD stands for Ready to Drink items – which are quite popular around the country. “We are hopeful that it is a short-term issue,” he said to The Guardian.

The COVID-19 pandemic was detrimental to the liquor trade and with the brewing process taking a hit in 2021, the supply chain has not recovered from it. According to media reports, almost all major companies faced acute shortages since the pandemic and production has not increased till now.

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“It’s like an unfortunate perfect storm,” said Robert Brewer, the chief executive of industry organisation Spirits New Zealand. He added that global shipping delays, mostly due to the ongoing crisis, has also blocked the supply from bourbon from the two major hubs – Kentucky and Tennessee.

Dylan Firth, the executive director of the Brewers Association of New Zealand, also elaborated on the problem and said that the smaller brewers were also not spared from the problem.

“This is more of an issue for the smaller guys who don’t have a [CO2] capture process. Because CO2 is produced in the fermentation process, some larger breweries will have the ability to capture that.”