Due to typhoons that hit Hokkaido last year, Japanese snack food manufacturers Calbee and Koikeya have announced a discontinuation and temporary halt on some potato chip products.
Both companies have been forced to downsize their production to top-selling and standard potato chips only, because the poor harvest has resulted in a shortage of potatoes, Fuji TV reported.
The local press also reported that Japan is suffering from a major potato-chip shortage.
Calbee permanently stopped the shipment of 18 varieties of potato chips, including “French Salad Flavor 60g” and “Plum Flavor 60g,” starting April 15. Sales will last until stocks run out at stores nationwide. From April 22, 15 varieties of Calbee potato chips including “BIG BAG Lightly Salted” will have their shipment temporarily suspended.
Koikeya said it has finished manufacturing seven potato chip products, including its “M Size Rich Consomme Flavor.” The company said production of its “Garlic Flavor 55g” and eight other products will be temporarily discontinued.
Potato harvest will commence in Kyushu around May, and in a similar fashion to the cherry blossom front, potato crops will advance northward until Hokkaido reaches its peak production in September.
Calbee has had to import potatoes from the United States due to the short supply, but the company said a majority of the American spuds are of insufficient quality and cannot cover the deficit. On the other hand, Koikeya said its potatoes are 100% domestically sourced and states that its reassessment of sales was inevitable in view of the shortage.