We launched a new flavor of Keto Chow this morning: Blueberry Pie. It’s already sold out.
Seriously, it took almost exactly 6 hours from launch to gone. So what happened? Clearly there is demand for it, so why didn’t we have enough for it to last a few months? The short version is that due to supply chain issues, we are having to prioritize our production and that necessitated us reducing the amount of Blueberry Pie by almost half compared to what we originally ordered.
The second ingredient in Keto Chow is Acacia Gum, also known as Gum Arabic. It’s a carbohydrate with some really cool features, namely: it feeds your gut bacteria to make your intestinal walls healthier AND it allows fat to mix with water. If you’ve ever wondered how melted butter can stay mixed with Keto Chow even after refrigerating it, that’s thanks to Acacia Gum. Acacia Gum is produced in Africa, and nearly all of that goes through the main port of Sudan. Here’s what our supplier of Acacia Gum (Hey Leo!) had to say about the shortage:
The shortage affects all gum acacia suppliers. As you know, all of the gum arabic in the world originates in Sudan, and a few neighboring countries. Nearly 100% of the unprocessed gum departs the African continent through the port in the city of Port Sudan. In September 2021, the port was blockaded. The flow of unprocessed gum to the five global processors (including our partner in Germany) completely stopped. In October 2021, there was a military coup in Sudan. In the six months since the coup, the port has opened and closed repeatedly. During this time the flow of gum to everyone has slowed to a trickle.
The five global processors who take the unprocessed gum shipped from Port Sudan and process it into cleaned, homogeneous, food-grade powder are all under the exact same supply constraints. Port Sudan is the choke point.
So, with little-to-no new supply of Acacia Gum, we have been looking at the total quantity of Acacia Gum that was available to us, divide that by the amount in each serving of Keto Chow and that’s the total amount of Keto Chow we can have made until more Acacia Gum is secured.
The myChow subscriptions have changed a lot of how we manage inventory here. Among other things, people are getting a LOT more of the single packets than before. We recently added a new option to get 2 or 4 of the large 21 meal bags in the myChow kit with NO singles to try to take some of the pressure off the single packets, but we do still have some flavors that are problematic. Of late, we have had issues with Banana, Chocolate Toffee, Natural Strawberry, and others – where the individual single meal packets have been unavailable for purchase unless you had a pre-existing subscription. When we run out of a flavor and that interferes with a people’s subscriptions, we have to contact them to arrange for an alternative, it’s not a fun thing so we try to avoid it wherever possible. This right here is the reason you do not see limited edition or seasonal flavors of Keto Chow available in the myChow Kit where you can choose your own flavors.
Anyway, as a few of our flavors were getting dangerously low and threatening existing subscriptions, we had to make the tough decision to reduce the quantity of Blueberry Pie we had ordered by nearly half. That meant we would go from having a decent number to last a month or two – to having a VERY limited amount that was quickly sold out as the bar showing availability quickly dropped.
So let’s cover some questions people will likely have!
Why didn’t you get more of the Blueberry Pie so I could order some?
See above. I would have loved to have more. I literally have none at my house, and have thus far only had one of the actual production units (for verifying the flavor). I feel your pain.
Wait, so is it actually sold out?
Yes. Actually sold out. We don’t even have any held in reserve for lost or damaged packages (we normally do but the website messed up and oversold by a few dozen). Several employees went so far as to bring BACK some they had at home so people could get their order.
I’m in Canada, how do I get some?
You’ll be happy to know that Switch Grocery was able to get a limited number shipped up to them a bit before the mayhem started. Watch their site and social channels for details on when the Blueberry Pie will be available in Canada.
Are you going to make more Blueberry Pie?
I would really like to, at a minimum I want to finish the original order since I already paid for that packaging to be printed and we have the work already done for the flavor launch. Our biggest constraint is the availability of the Acacia Gum. until that is sorted out we will be dealing with compromise.
That wasn’t a real answer?
Can I make Joe’s Blueberry Cheesecake with some other flavor of Keto Chow?
Absolutely! The original recipe used Chocolate Toffee. You could also use Vanilla or Cookies & Cream and still make it blueberry.