The U.S. Could Soon Be Seeing A Meat Shortage, Here’s What To Expect

You might very well see fewer meat options the next time you’re at the grocery store, as America may soon be facing a meat shortage in the not-too-distant future while the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the globe. This also means you might experience elevated meat costs, or limited selections while dining out. Yes, it sucks, but it’s reality right now.

Bloomberg reports that with slaughterhouses across the country closing down over workers falling ill to COVID-19, meat may be scarce in grocery stores in the months to come.

John Tyson, chairman of Tyson Foods, Inc, said in a statement that even if plants and facilities were to shut down for only a few months, that would equate to the loss of millions of pounds of meat. Animals such as chicken, pigs, and cattle will face depopulation resulting from the closure of processing facilities.

“The food supply chain is breaking,” Tyson says.

This shortage has already been affecting the fast food industry as KTLA reported 18 percent of Wendy’s stores across the United States have already stopped serving hamburgers due to meat closures. Due to this, the chain has shifted to highlighting their chicken sandwiches.

Folks, even with meat becoming scarce for a while, be sure to practice safe habits when shopping and never buy more than you need. Otherwise, this pandemic just continues on.

Fast Food

KFC Apologizes For Chicken Shortage With Cheeky Ad

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Recently, Kentucky Fried Chicken locations in the United Kingdom found themselves a little deep-fried after shutting down their stores due to a severe shortage of chicken.

About 750 of their locations closed in the UK, due to distribution issues. While KFC scrambled to find some much-needed poultry, the marketing for the fried chicken chain decided to lighten the situation a bit with a hilarious apology, GrubStreet reports.

The ad moved the “K” behind the “FC,” spelling “FCK” on the brand’s bucket in bold letters. It was then followed by an apology. KFC’s full-page graphic ran in the Sun and Metro papers this past week.

While most of the stores have reopened, some locations are still taking a little longer to get the supply they need. Until then, chicken-hungry fans will just have to wait.

Fast Food News Restaurants

Chipotle Says They Are Constantly Running Out Of Food


Have you ever been waiting in a Chipotle line, stomach roaring and ready to chow down on a beefy burrito, only to find that the restaurant has run out of steak for the day? Well, this is because Chipotle is facing a food shortage.

Chipotle’s chief marketing officer, Mark Crumpacker, said that running out of food tends to happen pretty frequently at Chipotle restaurant locations. This means, specifically, that restaurants are miscalculating demands and not producing enough food (meats, guac, etc), leaving customers wanting occasionally.

NRN reports that food shortages are customers’ second largest complaint after the quick service chain’s not-so-quick lines.

In other recent news, one of Chipotle’s co-CEOS, Monty Moran, had recently stepped down from his position. Founder Steve Ells, the main face of the brand, will become the sole CEO of Chipotle. Not sure yet if losing a CEO will affect Chipotle for the better, or for worse. However, the company did say they will be working on solving the food shortage issue through careful training.

Gotta make sure customers are fed first if Chipotle wants to increase sales.


Girl Caught Smuggling Meth-Filled Burrito & Hodor Gets His Own Cake [KATCHUP]

Here we are, another episode of the FOODBEAST Katchup. If you missed out on all the food news this week, fear not. This series catches you up on all the top stories in the wide world of food.

This week, Olive Garden dropped some awesome new spaghetti pies. Wonder how many of those we could tackle? A Russian couple found a bear cub and raised it until it was fully grown. Now, the bear just sits and eats with them like it was straight out of a Disney movie.

If you’re a fan of those tiny yellow chili peppers from In-N-Out, you’re shit out of luck. An industry-wide shortage means you won’t be seeing many of them this summer. If you’ve been keeping up with this season of Game of Thrones, you’ll recall the unforgettable Hodor episode a few weeks back. Well, a hotel was so touched by what happened that they made a door-shaped cake for the actor who played Hodor.

Finally, if you plan on smuggling meth across the border you may want to avoid using burritos. This girl got caught doing that exact thing and now everyone’s wise to it.

Check out this week’s Katchup.


Olive Garden spaghetti pie

Spaghetti Pie Array

As Olive Garden keeps trying to reinvent pasta, its new summer menu includes pies made entirely of spaghetti, that might scare off Italian food enthusiasts, but excite those looking to try something new. READ MORE

Russian couple eats dinner with bear


I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, overcooked my eggs and put the shower on too hot, but seeing this bear immediately turned things around for me. A Russian couple did something that sounds straight out of urban legends, as they somehow house-trained a bear, to the point where the grizzly could sit down on the dining room table and enjoy a nice dinner with the couple. READ MORE

Photo: Caters News Agency

In-N-Out running out of yellow peppers


Each week, I find myself helplessly drawn to my local In-N-Out where my order is standard: No. 1, no onions, add pickle and mustard, a Lemon-Up (sometimes Dr. Pepper). On some days, things get crazy and I’ll add chopped chilies to my Double Double, but mostly, I ask for yellow peppers on the side, without question. My favorite part of the meal is taking a bite of the yellow banana pepper, which I call chilies, then squeezing the juice all over every bite of my Double Double and fries.


The Game of Thrones door cake


Game of Thrones is arguably the most compelling drama on television right now, and will likely end its run in a few years as one of the greatest shows of all time. With its high production value and almost excessively engaging storyline, this epic series could very well “hold the door” for others to follow suit. Honestly though, I doubt it.

Kristian Nairn, the popular Irish DJ and actor that portrays the beloved character Hodor, was pleasantly surprised when he checked into his room and found a delightful little pastry made especially for him by Rachel Newman, the exceedingly talented pastry chef at the W Hotel. READ MORE

Girl caught smuggling meth burrito


An Arizona woman was recently apprehended for allegedly sneaking some methamphetamine tucked inside a burrito across the U.S.-Mexico border at Nogales, Arizona. READ MORE

Fast Food News

In-N-Out Is Running Out Of Yellow Chilies And Everyone Is Freaking Out

Each week, I find myself helplessly drawn to my local In-N-Out where my order is standard: No. 1, no onions, add pickle and mustard, a Lemon-Up (sometimes Dr. Pepper). On some days, things get crazy and I’ll add chopped chilies to my Double Double, but mostly, I ask for yellow peppers on the side, without question. My favorite part of the meal is taking a bite of the yellow banana pepper, which I call chilies, then squeezing the juice all over every bite of my Double Double and fries.


Everything was going fine, until the other night.

“You want any ketchup?” A young woman asked as I pulled up to the drive-thru window.

“Yes, can I get chilies too, please,” I replied.

“Sorry, but we’re out of chilies,” she responded.

I informed the employee that this was now the second time in two weeks that I asked for chilies and was told they were out.

“What’s going on with the chilies,” I asked.

What she told me was the most earth-shattering news I had heard in 2016.

The In-N-Out employee explained that California is experiencing a shortage in yellow banana pepper crops, citing that this year’s demand exceeded the supply. She also said that it’s affecting multiple locations, however, the next harvest is expected to come in early summer.

On Thursday, I called In-N-Out’s Southern California-based corporate headquarters to inquire about the shortage. Amy, the corporate employee I spoke with, would not tell me who In-N-Out’s supplier of yellow peppers was, but referred to the current situation as, “an industry-wide pepper shortage.”

Amy added that the “shortage” is not yet affecting the chopped chilies that can be added to fries or burgers, but if you want a side-order of whole yellow banana peppers, that’s when the pepper rationing gets real.

A memo from In-N-Out, dated for May 9 and addressed to its California stores, was  posted on Twitter May 15. The memo directs In-N-Out employees to keep, “chilies away from ketchup stations,” and to serve guests only two chilies in a “souffle cup per request.”

Memo In n Out

Even though chilies are more of a “secret menu” item, people still started FREAKING OUT once they discovered that In-N-Out’s delicious chilies probably wouldn’t be available any time soon. At least, “hopefully sometime in July,” according to the memo.

Twitter user @BABYjar__ was so upset, she started tweeting in both English and Spanish. Orale.

@_Marriisol was pretty upset too and demanded an explanation. 

Look at all those question marks! 

Amy at corporate said that this WAS NOT SPECIFIC to In-N-Out, only. It’s affecting many in the restaurant industry and she was right. In April, Subway restaurants began to experience a shortage in peppers as well, and customers began complaining on Facebook.

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 10.17.20 AM


Subway claims weather was to blame for their shortage in supply.

Fellow Foodbeast staff writer, Peter Pham and myself went to an In-N-Out Burger located on the corner of Bristol Ave. and W. McAurthur Blvd. in Santa Ana, Calif. to try our luck again, but again, bad news as the employee told us:

“We have them today, but if you come back tomorrow, we might not have them,” she said. “It’s not affecting the chopped chilies on the burgers, but the sides. We’re only getting very small amounts.”

The chilies they did have at the Santa Ana location did not look like the traditional yellow banana pepper that any In-N-Out lover would recognize instantly. Take a look.


For all you In-N-Out lovers out there, with the yellow pepper shortage in effect, our advice to you is: Get it while it’s hot.

Chili photos by Peter Pham

Hit-Or-Miss News

Here’s How Venezuela’s Sugar Shortage Is Affecting Coca-Cola Production

A few months back we wrote about the economic turmoil in Venezuela and how Mondelez International, the manufacturer of Oreo cookies, would no longer be tracking sales of the snack in Venezuela.

The country’s economic landscape has yet to improve and several news sources have reported that Coca-Cola FEMSA, along with Kraft Heinz Co. and Clorox, have “temporarily shutdown production,” due to a sugar supply shortage.

It has been widely reported, over the last few years, that Venezuela’s economy is virtually on the edge of collapse, with political and economic friction resulting in food shortages and rationing practices. Venezuela’s President, Nicolas Maduro, recently declared a state of emergency, due to the dire conditions.

In the annual report released by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service in April, the department anticipated sugar production to decline while sugar consumption was expected to rise. The report, approved by the Venezuela Office of Agricultural Affairs, highlighted El Nino drought conditions, price controls and restrictive foreign exchange policies as contributing factors to the decline. The report also pointed out that if conditions worsened, a shutdown would be necessary.

Price controls, land/farm expropriations, lack of foreign exchange, security concerns, lack of spare parts for agricultural inputs, machinery, and packaging materials, and even labor problems, are all major issues negatively impacting the market for sugar production and consumption. It is evident to the private sector that the GBRV (Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela) may rather import sugar than invest in areas to increase local production. Unfortunately, the GBRV finds itself with further dwindling foreign exchange available to purchase imported sugar. The economic situation is expected to worsen in 2016 and some government sugar mills may have to shut down operations.

It is currently unknown how long the halt in Coca-Cola’s production will last. A Coca-Cola company spokesperson spoke to CNNMoney and explained that Coca-Cola was working with sugar producers and the Venezuelan government to find an efficient solution.

“While this situation will impact the production of sugar-sweetened beverages in the coming days,” a Coca-Cola spokeswoman told CNNMoney, “the production lines for zero-sugar beverages such as bottled water and Coca-Cola Light … continue operating normally.”

Photos: Coca-Cola Facebook

Leading Chocolate Makers Claim World Is Running out of Chocolate


Apparently we’re eating way too much chocolate. We’re not talking stomachache numbers, but more like world-shattering numbers. Mars Inc. and Barry Callebaut, the two leading manufacturers of chocolate in the world, are claiming that at this rate we’re going to consume all the chocolate in the world, reports the Washington Post.

A couple of issues have developed in recent years leading to chocolate price hikes.

Dry weather is a huge issue in West Africa, which produces more than 70 percent of the world’s cocoa. Because of the less-than-fertile conditions, production has been cut 30 to 40 percent. China is also developing quite the sweet tooth as it is purchasing more chocolate every year, causing concern for the supply.

Thanks to these contributing factors, cocoa prices have risen by more than 60 percent since 2012. Chocolate manufacturers were required to raise prices to adjust to cocoa costs.

Responding to this foreseen disaster of chocolate proportions, agricultural research groups in West Africa are working to develop special trees that are able to produce seven times as many cocoa beans, although taste will be compromised.

Pretty soon we might be eating chocolate-flavored candy instead of actual chocolate. Terrifying.

H/T Washington Post


Keep Calm and Buy All The Nutella


Don’t panic but there’s a hazelnut shortage that could very seriously affect everyone’s favorite chocolate hazelnut spread. Before you chuck your laptop across the room in a mad dash to get your local grocer hear us out.

Severe weather conditions are to blame for over 70 percent of Turkey’s hazelnut crops being devastated. Because of the decrease in supply, prices have skyrocketed and will only continue to increase as the supply dwindles.

So here’s how things will affect our beloved Nutella, in a nutshell, (pun intended), Nutella purchases over 25 percent of the world’s hazelnut supply to keep up with the demand of their popular product. Obviously, the leader in chocolate hazelnut spread can’t exactly produce Nutella without hazelnuts. Lucky for us, the chocolate gold producers swiped up a huge Turkish hazelnut producer that should keep price increases at bay, but there’s no guarantees.

Just to be safe, you better start hoarding your jars like their gold, as if you weren’t doing that anyway.

H/T Gothamist