Haribo sweets are struggling to reach UK supermarket shelves - here's why

There may be a shortage of Haribo sweets in the UK due to a lack of lorry drivers. Photo: ShutterstockThere may be a shortage of Haribo sweets in the UK due to a lack of lorry drivers. Photo: Shutterstock
There may be a shortage of Haribo sweets in the UK due to a lack of lorry drivers. Photo: Shutterstock

Sweet lovers in the UK may soon find there is a shortage of much-loved Haribo sweets.

The confectionary company, which is based overseas, has revealed there are issues with getting supplies of their gummy sweets to the UK.

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What is it that's causing the shortage and what is being done to combat it?

Where are Haribo sweets made and why could there be a shortage of them in the UK?

Haribo sweets are made in Germany.

The company is struggling to get stocks to stores across the UK because of a shortage of lorry drivers.

A spokesperson for the German confectionery business said: “As is the case with many manufacturers and retailers throughout the country, we are experiencing challenges with regards to the nationwide driver shortage.

“We are working with partners across the food and drink industry to address and respond to this problem.”

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Why is there a shortage of drivers, and how has the pandemic impacted on the problem?

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) believes there is currently a shortfall of about 60,000 drivers due to around 30,000 HGV driving tests not taking place last year due to the pandemic.

Typically, 72,000 candidates train to become HGV drivers, with 40,000 passing. Only 15,000 were able to complete training last year, however, the organisation said.

The RHA has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson warning many drivers also returned to their country of origin during extended periods of lockdown and restricted travel, with the vast majority not returning.

Brexit is also playing a part in the shortage, according to the RHA, with many drivers unsure of their rights to work in the UK.

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What is being done to combat the shortage?

Retailers have been complaining for months over the issues, including Tesco and Currys PC World acknowledging the impact.

Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, recently said: “Retailers are aware of a fall in HGV driver numbers, resulting in minor disruption to some supply chains.

“Supermarkets are working closely with their suppliers to ensure that consumers still have access to the same great selection of goods.

“Government must rapidly increase the number of HGV driving tests taking place while also looking for a longer-term solution to this issue.”

What sweets do Haribo make?

Haribo produces a variety of gummy sweets including Starmix, Tangfastics, Goldbears, Jelly Babies, Giant Strawbs, and Jelly Beans.