If you can order a bubble tea today, you’d better enjoy it – it could be your last drink in a while.
The country is facing a boba crisis, because large shipping backlog The West Bank is creating a shortage of both ball boba, imported from Taiwan and tapioca, used to make boba and mostly from Thailand. Insiders in the booming bubble tea business are warning customers that boba supplies are likely to run out in the coming weeks and it may take months for supplies to return to normal.
“This is an industry-wide shortage,” said the owner of Hayward, Calif., Boba USA Company – which owns the famous Boba Guys stores in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York – said in a video on Instagram last week. “Some boba shops have no customers. Other things will be gone over the next few weeks. 99% of the boba comes from abroad. … It will continue for several months until we receive our next batch of tapioca starch ”.
Boba shops have become hot destinations across the US in recent years, serving Taiwanese milk tea drinks with chewy tapioca pearls, called boba. A national survey after the pandemic locked last May showed Bubble tea is the most popular delivery item in California, Hawaii and Michigan, and drinks already Fashionable New York City for several years.
Supply chain bottlenecks affect almost every product are shipped to the United States from Asia. But the lack of boba is actually the product of “a perfect storm,” said Oliver Yoon, vice president of global sales and marketing at Chicago-based supplier Boba Direct. told Business Insider. That’s because – with supplies coming mostly from Asia – the boba business is particularly susceptible to shipping delays, and it will come when the country reopens and consumer spending increases. when people started stopping by their favorite restaurants and stores.
Tommy Huang, Senior Sales Manager at Hayward, Calif., Boba supplier Leadway International Inc. told the San Francisco Chronicle. “It takes a long time to say that we will not be short of tapioca.”
The shortage is expected to last for months. Boba Guys said in their video that a shipment that normally takes about a month to travel through the Pacific, clear and leave the harbor, is currently four to five months.
They ask milk tea customers across the country to be patient. “If you see [shops] out of boba, don’t get mad. It’s not their fault, ”they said. “Everyone is trying their best.”