Why Boba Tea Might Soon Be Hard To Find In The US

Since the start of the pandemic, many aspects of people's daily lives have been altered. From once being able to hang out with friends and family to going months (even a year) without seeing them. Where once working from home was seen as taboo, now some cannot envision themselves setting foot into another office again. While every sector of the world has been affected, the food industry has taken quite a difficult hit. 

The United States Department of Agriculture points out that overall supply chains across the U.S. have been affected due to increased delivery shortages and increased demand for retail foods (i.e. things you get at the supermarket). The report states that while producers and retailers have normally planned out supply needs based on previous trends, nothing could have prepared them for what was to come. Folks found that there were shortages of things like soup, beans, grains, meat, and canned corn. According to Food & Wine, those infamous little tapioca balls found in Boba tea are up next.

There are reportedly thousands of containers carrying Boba bubbles halted at California shipping ports

Food & Wine reports that about 99 percent of those lovely little balls come from producers in Asia, and with current precautionary measures in place, the ships they come on have been taking a bit to dock and unload their supply. USA Today reports that because of this, there has been a backlog of tapioca deliveries entering the U.S. coming from Taiwan. This has allegedly caused many boba shops around the world to find themselves completely sold out of these precious pearls of tapioca joy. 

Business Insider reports that the boba shops and other retailers have been experiencing shortages since March. Oliver Yoon, the vice president of sales and global marketing for Boba Direct, told Business Insider that they don't foresee supply regulating itself until later in the year due to the bottleneck that is occurring with the products. According to Yoon, things like "tapioca pearls, popping bobas, flavored powders and syrups, and disposables" are just stuck in a state of flux, but that "this is temporary, not forever."