Chai Tea Shortages Have Hit Pret a Manger, Supplier Issue Blamed

  • UK coffee chain Pret a Manger is suffering from shortages of chai powder.
  • Stores are unable to serve chai lattes as a result. Turmeric lattes appear to be unavailable, too.
  • Pret says shortages are due to a “supplier issue” and is unsure when chai lattes will be available.

UK coffee chain Pret a Manger is struggling to stay stocked up on chai tea.

The shortages are “due to a supplier issue, which is affecting the availability of certain products,” Pret said on Tuesday. It tweeted that it was working to restock its chai powder but couldn’t guarantee a timeframe.

Pret appears to be suffering from shortages of the powder used in its turmeric latte, too.

“As with any food service business, occasionally unforeseen issues with our supply chain can impact the availability of specific drinks or menu items,” a Pret spokesperson told Insider. “Stock shortages are a rarity, though, and when they occur we do our best to get customers’ favorite items back on the menu as soon as possible.”

It’s unclear whether the shortage affects all stores but Insider was unable to find a Pret store on the chain’s advance-order service on its website that lists either chai or turmeric lattes as available.

Pret drinks menu

Chai and turmeric lattes are listed as unavailable on Pret’s advance-order site.

Grace Dean/Insider

Insider has ordered chai lattes at four Pret stores in London since January 27 — including multiple visits to two of them — and was each time told that the location had no chai powder in stock.  Multiple Twitter users also said they’ve been unable to get their hands on chai lattes from the chain.

A global labor shortage exacerbated by a surge in Omicron cases is straining manufacturers and distributors, which in turn is leading to product shortages and delays. Restaurants and stores say they’re struggling to stock some products, leaving consumers with less choice.

The two drinks form part of Pret’s core hot-drinks menu available at almost every store, which also includes flat whites, mochas, hot chocolates, and various teas. Some stores also serve iced chai and turmeric lattes, though these drinks don’t currently appear to be listed on Pret’s website or advance-order service.

Pret menu inside interior

Some Pret stores offer iced chai and turmeric lattes, too.

Grace Dean/Insider

In December, the BBC reported that Pret had received thousands of complaints about its drinks subscription, with many saying that smoothies and frappes – which are only available at certain stores – were often unavailable.

The subscription, which was recently increased to £25 ($33.90) a month, lets people order up to five barista-made drinks a day.

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