Why McDonald's Fries And Hash Browns Are Getting Harder To Find In Japan And Taiwan

Taiwan has more than its fair share of mouthwatering breakfast food, but McDonald's still has a special place in the hearts of those looking to grab a quick bite in the morning. 

But that may change — at least for the next few weeks, thanks to an unforeseen and unwelcome tweak to the fast food chain's breakfast menu. As Taiwan News reports, recent visitors to McDonald's in Taiwan were greeted by the sad news that "Due to the recent unstable global shipping supply, McDonald's has a shortage of hash browns and will temporarily stop selling them after remaining supplies are sold out."

This is not to say that hash browns have completely vanished in Taiwan — just from McDonald's locations that have sold out of them. In any case, there is a silver lining, because McDonald's has not only apologized for this inconvenience, but reassured potato-craving customers that "stocks will be replenished by late January when normal supplies will resume."

And while hash browns won't be gone from McDonald's for too long, Taiwan News reports that people are already missing them, including one "netizen" who expressed the one sentiment many must also be feeling: "McDonald's breakfast without hash browns is not breakfast!"

McDonald's Japan has its own problem

Fans of McDonald's Taiwan should have seen the writing on the wall — or at least that their potato supply situation was too good to last. Less than a month before these hash brown issues arose, McDonald's neighbor to the north, Japan, experienced potato import delays. As a result, they stopped selling medium and large fries for a week. Unfortunately, instead of seeing the issue straighten out in 2022, McDonald's Holdings Company Japan told Reuters it will have to keep rationing french fries at least until beginning of February, because its supply chain issues remain unresolved. The move, McDonald's said, would "make sure we have plenty of inventory and our customers can enjoy McDonald's fries without interruption."

It wasn't always this way. Back in 2013, McDonald's Japan unveiled a turbo-charged, super-sized fry order it called the "Mega Potato" — which is roughly the size of two large orders of fries in America (via Cooking Channel). While we don't expect the Mega Potato to come back anytime soon, McDonald's Japan fans can trust that their fries will eventually return in full force.