TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) As Americans celebrated Thanksgiving with turkey prices at record highs, another poultry dish that is a beloved holiday tradition could be in short supply: fried chicken in Japan.
Convenience stores in Japan like 7-Eleven and FamilyMart are running low on fried chicken for their holiday platters due to plant closures in Thailand, one of the world's major chicken producers, following a spike in coronavirus cases there in previous months.
7-Eleven has suspended fried chicken sales since the end of September in some parts of Japan due to supply disruptions in Thailand, said a spokesman for Seven & i Holdings, which operates the chain in Japan.
The company cannot yet foresee full resumption of supplies despite efforts to ameliorate the shortage, she added.
FamilyMart did not respond to a request for comment.
Some consumers took to social media to lament how hard it is to find their favourite convenience store fried chicken, including FamilyMart's signature Famichiki.
A few users shared store notices saying that Famichiki chicken is in short supply due to a lack of output from the country of production, and asked customers to "please wait a little longer".
Every Christmas, millions of Japanese treat themselves to a meal of fried chicken in what has become a nationwide tradition.
A popular option is getting buckets of KFC, which says that sales are highest on Christmas Eve - about 10 times busier than KFC Japan's annual average.
A spokesman for KFC Japan said the company has been preparing for Christmas for a year, and that it "is not seeing any impact on supply or price" as it sources from domestic chicken farms.