Yogurt Shortages in Japan

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    Most of the post-earthquake panic buying has come to an end in Japan, so shelves at supermarkets in the Kanto region are returning to normal. However, there are some products that remain rare. One of them is yogurt.

    Here is a short report explaining why there is a shortage of yogurt (from ATV news):

    They visit a factory in Kanagawa prefecture, which halted all production of yogurt. The main cause of the halt is the unreliability of electricity.

    The factory is still producing milk, but yogurt takes longer to make and requires an uninterrupted supply of electricity. If any stage of the production or refrigeration process is interrupted by a blackout, it would ruin the whole batch of yogurt for the day. Because of this, the company has decided that yogurt production cannot take place when there is a possibility of a blackout. Up until a day or two ago, TEPCO had only given a few hours or a day’s notice before announcing cancellations of blackouts.

    The report also mentions shortages of natto. One large factory in Ibaraki prefecture was damaged in the earthquake and had top stop production. Some repairs have been made, and they are now producing natto at 80% of their normal rate.

    Now that blackouts have been put on hold, production can probably resume. However, because demand for remains high, shortages will probably continue.

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