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Hey, Walkers. What's the difference between crisps and chips? Answer: You can't get either of them

Software upgrade hits snack production for over a week

Potato snack maker Walkers has seen the semiconductor chip shortage and raised it a deep fried crisp* between two oily fingers.

The company confirmed to The Register: "A recent IT system upgrade has disrupted the supply of some of our products."

From container ships stuck in canals, to worldwide shortages of lorry drivers leading to worldwide shortages of... almost everything else, everyone has learned some important lessons about supply chains this year. This includes Walkers, for whom a software upgrade has almost halted production for more than a week.

Walkers' factory in Beaumont Leys in Leicester, England, is the biggest in the world, but production is way down.

Retailers report receiving a fraction of a pallet, rather than a truckload.

We thought this might be connected with the PepsiCo subsidiary's recent upgrade of its distribution centre – the phrase state-of-the-art equipment and technology certainly strikes fear into this former sysadmin's heart.

Walkers' representative told us that it wasn't just that facility, however, and it was a national rollout that borked its systems.

In the meantime, the spokesperson added: "We're prioritising production of our most popular Walkers crisps flavours including Cheese and Onion, Ready Salted, and Salt and Vinegar, as well as Quavers and Wotsits from our snacks range."

So if you've got a hankering for Monster Munch or anything exotic, you're probably out of luck.

The crisps are sold under the Lay's brand in the US.

As the Guardian noted: "In continental Europe, by contrast, you're basically stuck with plain or, for some reason, paprika."

It's right. Your humble scribe lives in Prague. Welcome to my slightly bland world, where vinegar only goes on salads. ®

*Aka "potato chip" outside of the UK

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