In New Zealand, where winter is ending and spring is just beginning, there is a shortage looming. No, it’s not jet fuel (like a few months ago) this time, but something much more serious for the Kiwis: ‘chippies’.
Due to a terribly wet winter, potato production on the islands has been especially hard hit, resulting in higher prices for most potato products. In certain areas, up to a third of the potato crops has been lost.
And chips, made with a particular potato from those affected regions, have taken the worst hit.
The trouble did not capture media attention until warning signs went up in local supermarkets warning the Kiwis that stores would shortly be running out of ‘chippies’.
Mr Chris Claridge, head of Potatoes New Zealand, was called to the national radio station to explain: "It started raining in March, and it just simply hasn't stopped. Potatoes are actually alive - they need to breathe. And so effectively they drown, and then they start to rot… because they're submerged in water. You will have new potatoes for Christmas, I promise you that."
New Zealanders are responding with humor we must admit, by going onto social media commenting far and wide about their national disaster dubbed “Chipocalypse”.
Here are some of the best tweets we read:
- “Yes, there's a potato shortage. But before anyone suggests them, kale chips are an abomination.”
- “Kiwis, this is where the real value friendship is being tested. Who will you share your last chip with? #chipocalypse”
- “If we time the trademe auction right for Christmas, our 2 bags of Bluebird Chips should raise enough for a house deposit #chipocalypse”
- “NZ's been scared chipless #Chipocalypse”
The two largest New Zealand supermarkets meanwhile are saying they will “work with suppliers” to avoid any future disruption of stocks whilst "highlighting a potential future potato shortage".
We wish New Zealand all the best in these dark times.