Potato shortage blamed on wet weather

A wet winter may prove the bane of potato chip lovers this year, with at least one supermarket struggling to stock the snacks due to a supply shortage.

Customers report grocery store chain Pak'n Save has put up signs warning customers it's struggling to stock potato chips due to a "nationwide potato shortage" and that the problem may persist until 2018.

A spokeswoman for Foodstuffs said some of the companies suppliers were struggling to meet demand due to weather-related crop shortages.

"We are working closely with our suppliers to manage supply as much as possible," she said.

"It is anticipated new season crops will be harvested in the next few weeks so supply is likely to settle down then."

Horticulture New Zealand last month warned rain, hail and cold weather would hit the supply of spring vegetables.

"This is not only affecting the ability to harvest potatoes, cauliflower and leafy greens including lettuces, the hail has also damaged some crops which will affect the quality and the quantity of vegetables that will be available," chief Mike Chapman said.

"Growers want people to know they are doing all they can to supply fresh spring vegetables, but the weather is something they cannot control."

The country went through a similar potato shortage in late 2014 due to poor weather.