HAYWARD, Calif. (KRON) – First toilet paper, then hand sanitizer — now, we are looking at a boba shortage nationwide.
According to Bay Area fan-favorite Boba Guys, the shortage started with the global pandemic causing “congestion and shortage in the supply chain.”
The Boba Guys created a factory in Hayward and started shops across the Bay Area. They announced the shortage on their Instagram.
“A lot of this will affect not just us, but the greater boba industry,” Andrew from Boba Guys said.
David Fan, from Fanale Drinks, joined the Boba Guys saying, “America is having trouble importing anything from overseas, especially from Asia. The post and container issues are impacting us, along with apparel, electronics, or anything that isn’t made domestically.”
In the Instagram post, they explained that 99% of the world’s boba comes mostly from Taiwan, which means the whole country is running out of supplies.
“Some companies are already out and most will be out in the next week or so,” Bin from Boba Guys said.
At the boba factory in Hayward, they make their own tapioca balls — So why does this affect them too?
“We still depend on one key ingredient which is the tapioca starch that derives from the cassava plant and that is not grown here natively to the U.S. It’s actually made overseas in Thailand and the Pacifics,” Fan said.
The Boba Guys are figuring how to import tapioca other ways than on ship.
“This all speaks to a larger point as we built U.S. Boba Company to bring manufacturing back to the United States. We knew it was hard, but it was intentional,” Fan said.
So how long will this shortage last?
“We’re talking about four to five months now,” Andrew said.
The Boba Guys ended their video reiterating that it is not the café or shops’ fault that this shortage is happening, so “don’t get mad — it is a global thing.”
“Thank you again so much guys for watching and for understanding and we’re going to get through this together. We’re both still in a pandemic but now another shortage and we got through a lot already, let’s continue to hopefully get through this thing together and persevere. Thank you!”
Watch the full video from Boba Guys above.