Customers Are Worried Starbucks Is Running Out Of Peppermint

Businesses and their customers are no strangers to supply shortages. The pandemic and the resulting supply chain issues, including labor shortages, have made sourcing and delivering ingredients difficult, leading to higher prices and frustrated customers. As recently as November 2022, fast food chains Chick-Fil-A and Panera were warning customers of likely lettuce shortages due to lowered supply. Taco Bell's mobile app customers were warned about potential shortages with a banner in the app, and Subway gave a heads-up to its customers, telling them that there might not be lettuce at the store, per Insider. The lettuce supply chain is in a tizzy for several reasons, including diseased crops, drought in California, and the fact that farmers reallocated farmland and grew less lettuce. All of this drives the price of lettuce up and decreases supplies.

Shortages can be attributed to a few things like increased demand versus lowered supply, all made worse by the highest inflation since 1981, according to ABC News. Restaurants deal with the problems by raising prices, offering substitutions, having supply backups, and being open and honest about shortages and prices, per DoorDash. No one is immune, and it's not surprising that the holidays lead to more shortages, especially of popular, seasonal ingredients.

Supply chain issues are still a problem, with various locations experiencing shortages

Starbucks customers in Boise, Idaho, have been without the holiday favorite peppermint mocha due to an apparent shortage. The coffee chain told IdahoNews that "a small number of stores are experiencing a shortage of peppermint syrup," but they reassured the news channel that the shortage is not nationwide and they're trying to rectify the problem. However, according to some Twitter users, they've experienced peppermint shortages in Houston, Texas, and Palm Beach, Florida.

It's not the first time Starbucks has faced shortages. Though they don't happen often, they're frustrating when customers run into them, especially when the ingredients are staples for seasonal drinks like peppermint mochas or pumpkin spice lattes. In October 2022, stores across the U.K. ran out of pumpkin spice syrup, leaving customers and fans of the drink in a lurch, as reported by The Sun. Starbucks employees on the Starbucks subreddit write that shortages are common nowadays, with stores often receiving less than what they've ordered, including peppermint mocha syrup. A spokeswoman told The New York Times last year that shortages are often experienced in various locations and are temporary.