Fast food menus undergo changes amid national lettuce shortage

A string of major Australian fast food chains? chains have been forced to make changes to their menus amid tight supplies of lettuce across the country.

The national deficit and the subsequent rising price of lettuce has temporarily changed the way the companies fill their burgers, wraps and sandwiches.

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Subway stores have announced that they will now mix their lettuce with cabbage in a leaf mixture to make up for the shortfall.

KFC announced the same change on Tuesday and offers customers the option to “customize” their items and remove the mix altogether.

On Wednesday, a Hungry Jack’s spokesperson told that restaurants in the eastern states were also “affected by a shortage of fresh produce.”

However, the outlets will not offer the cabbage blend like Subway and KFC, and instead “will serve lettuce in smaller quantities while the shortage persists, and will continue to work with suppliers to maintain supply.”

“This shortage is expected to continue in June and July,” Hungry Jack’s statement said.

Meanwhile, a McDonald’s spokesperson told it was trying to get through.

“We are working closely with our suppliers to continue serving our full menu to customers,” they said.

The national deficit is largely due to the recent flooding in New South Wales and Queensland.

A nationwide shortage of lettuce is temporarily changing the way Subway stocks their subs. Credit: news broadcastUniversal Images Group via Getty

“Being a fresh produce company means going with the ups and downs of fresh produce,” according to a statement on the Subway website.

“We are currently facing a shortage of lettuce from our local lettuce farmers.

“So in the short term we will be mixing lettuce with cabbage… while more lettuce is on the way.”

Supply chain shortages, staff shortages, border closures, petrol prices and other pandemic-related logistics have all contributed to consumer inflation gripping the Australian economy.

Hungry Jacks restaurants in the eastern states serve limited quantities of the coveted leafy vegetable. Credit: NurPhotoNurPhoto via Getty Images

The poor outlook for world food production, on top of the Russian war against Ukraine and trade restrictions, is also pushing up commodity prices.

Food prices worldwide are now at their highest level in a decade and are not expected to fall in 2022 or much of 2023.

ABS figures released earlier this year showed food prices had risen 4.3 percent over the year to March.

Consumer inflation expectations also rose 0.2 percentage point to 5.7 percent, the highest result since early April.

Subway posted their disclaimer for menu changes on their website following a nationwide lettuce shortage. Credit: Subway

Supermarket Costs Hit 11 Year Highwith iceberg lettuce selling in supermarkets for as much as $7.98 per head.

Images have even surfaced of supermarket customers stripping the outer leaves hit to fill their shopping bags and avoid the sky-high prices.

NSW Food Bank and ACT CEO John Robertson said: sunrise Tuesday they saw “massive increases in food demand” across the country.

“We’re about 50 percent higher than where we were before COVID … pre-COVID we were delivering about six million meals a month.”

While Subway has joined KFC in its decision to cut back on lettuce, it’s not the first time KFC has had to make major changes to its menu.

A chicken shortage in January forced the chain to cut menu items, including their original chicken burgers, zingers, fillets and wings.

This was largely due to supplier issues – the shortage coincided with the lifting of COVID restrictions and large amounts of staff needed to isolate.


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