How “Boba” is Having A Worldwide Shortage

Different Boba Drinks


Different Boba Drinks

Arielle Allen, Journalist

Boba originates from Thailand in the eighties and has become popular all over the world in recent years. Boba is used in teas and smoothies, and is often used as a dessert due to its sweetness. Tapioca Starch is boba’s main ingredient, and without it, there is no boba. Since the Coronavirus outbreak took place, it has affected traveling and production of Boba making. 

In recent months, Boba has seen an increase in demand, which leads to a demand in product. According to, “Oliver Yoon, Vice President of Sales and Global Marketing for the supplier Boba Direct, said the scarcity has been brewing for months due to a logistical issue affecting many industries: too many shipments from Asia and not enough processing capacity to get them into the United States. There’s been a huge influx of containers coming from overseas due to e-commerce, just due to consumer spending, and unfortunately, there’s not enough people to assist in getting these containers out of the vessel.” 

There is no better way to bring people together than with desserts.”

— Gail Simmons

“A lack of dockworkers at the ports and a shortage of drivers are creating a backlog along both the East and West coasts that delays shipments, and that’s holding up products from getting to retailers, Yoon said.” It created extra problems for retailers, and unhappy customers who enjoyed drinking boba any style possible. 

Here in Las Vegas, there have been reports from different local boba shops in town that have had boba shortages. Without the shortage, customers had the option to add more boba to drinks, and customize. Since the shortage took place, many are limited to how much is provided in each cup. Although this shortage is affecting the whole world, it is uncertain when this shortage will end.

“Boba Pearls” used in Boba Drinks (NPR)

According to, “The Boba Guys say that due to a combination of other factors—including additional delays when imports have to clear U.S. customs—intermittent boba shortages could continue for several more months.”

“We speak on behalf of all the boba shops across the country that, if you see them run out of boba, don’t get mad,” said. “It’s not their fault. This is a global worldwide thing, and everyone’s trying their hardest.”

It is believed that the shortage is not long-term, and will continue to produce and ship when possible.