Boba Shortage Impacts Americans

Thai+tea+with+boba+is+a+favorite+for+those+who+adore+the+chewy+tapioca+pearls.

Photo by The Crusader Staff

Thai tea with boba is a favorite for those who adore the chewy tapioca pearls.

Andrei Lynch ’22, Technology Editor

In 2021, the unspeakable is happening: a massive boba shortage has impacted many Americans. The shipping industry and the pandemic are two of the culprits, and the problem might last until the end of summer.

Boba are tapioca pearls that originate from Taiwan, and are well-liked in the United States. They originally started selling in Asain centered markets, but they are now sold in all areas and are liked by a large group of people from every age group.

One of the major incidents that has led to this shortage is a major cargo ship that blocked the Suez Canal, which stopped all shipments for days. The pandemic has also slowed down shipping. The most important reason is demand. Many people want their boba to help them in these hard times.

“This is an industrywide shortage,” the owners of Hayward, California-based U.S. Boba Co. said on their Boba Guys Instagram page.

“Some boba shops are already out. Others will run out in the next few weeks. 99 percent of boba comes from overseas.”

Many prominent Boba company people have different dates for when it will be fixed. Some say summer, some say afterwards and others say later in 2021. Once the shipments reach here and pandemic interest declines, life may return back to normal for boba lovers.

I heard about the boba shortage a few weeks ago. It was super weird and surprising, and sort of led me to do a double take. It’s something that I feel is always there, so hearing that there’s a shortage really shocked me.”

— Henry Frazier ’22

Raquel Oliva-Gomez, Dean of Students, said, “I first heard about the boba shortage on April 13. I remember this because it was my husband’s birthday but it was too late to go out and get some. The following day I was sent an article about the shortage and almost all of my group texts were all boba-focused the following days!”

Henry Fraizer ’22 said, “I heard about the boba shortage a few weeks ago. It was super weird and surprising, and sort of led me to do a double take. It’s something that I feel is always there, so hearing that there’s a shortage really shocked and surprised me.”

For consumers seeking boba, it is not time to panic–yet. They can make boba at home or get it at the store.

Chris Yee ’22 said, “Boba is a decently easy thing to recreate and if you don’t want to make it yourself, the frozen boba version is a good alternative.”