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There's a Major Nationwide Shortage of This Beloved Fast-Food Drink

And summer won't be the same without it.

If you're a fan of the refreshing cold-milk tea that you can chew on, aka if you're a bubble tea fanatic, America's latest shortage will leave you seriously deprived—the whole country, from shore to shore, is running out of boba balls. Due to a massive shipping backlog on the West Coast, a complete boba shortage is imminent, insiders say, and we may be facing a summer without the beloved tea.

According to MarketWatch, the industry-wide shortage of boba balls, imported from Taiwan, as well as tapioca starch which they're made with and which is usually imported from Thailand, could take months to recover from. (RELATED: America's Largest Fast-Food Chain Is on a Downward Spiral, Reports Say)

Chains that serve the popular Taiwanese beverage have already started preparing their customers by announcing their boba items may be in short supply. The owners of Boba Guys, one of the biggest players in the bubble tea industry, have posted a video on their Instagram account several days ago, explaining that the shortage is caused by major congestion in Asian imports caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Some companies are already running out, and most will be out by the next week or so," Boba Guys said in the video, posted six days ago. While the chain actually produces its own boba domestically, in a factory located in Hayward, Calif., the shortage of tapioca flour will impact their supplies as well.


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A post shared by Boba Guys (@bobaguys)

While their followers have shown them overwhelming support in the comment section, Boba Guys ask the general public for their understanding and patience to be extended to the whole bubble tea industry: "Don't get mad at boba shops for running out of boba! ? (We know, it's in our name! ?)"

And for more on shortages to expect this year, check out American Restaurants Are Facing a Shortage of This Staple Condiment, and don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.

Mura Dominko
Mura is ETNT's Executive Editor, leading the coverage of America's favorite restaurant chains, grocery stores, and viral food moments. Read more about Mura