The “potato crisis” caused a shortage of chips in Japan


Set of 12 packs of potato chips Calbee flavored pizza for sale in a Japanese online auction for 15 thousand yen (about $138), or 1250 yen per pack. Previously, the average retail price ranged from 130 to 200 yen depending on size.

In conventional grocery stores this kind of chips to buy difficult: after 10 April, the company announced a temporary cessation of sales, consumers bought almost all remained in the grocery stores stock. A leading economic newspaper, the Nikkei Shimbun of Japan have called the situation, “potato crisis”.

Cheese pizza is one of the many species disappearing from Japanese shelves. In a press release Calbee reported on the temporary suspension of sales from April 22 to 15 items and on the complete cessation of sales from April 15 to 18.

The reason for this decision is the poor potato harvest caused by struck by a Typhoon in August last year on the Northern island of Hokkaido. The island provides up to 80% of Japanese demand for potatoes. Calbee is the market leader in potato chips in Japan, a year earlier, its share was 75%. At the end of 2016, the broadcaster TV Asahi conducted a poll to identify the most popular chips among consumers. According to the results of the 30 most popular brands owned by 10 Calbee, five kinds of chips, the company settled on the first six lines of the rating.

Despite the fact that the focus of Japanese media brought the message Calbee to suspend sales of chips, the potato poor harvest can have an impact on restaurants and catering, triggering a full-fledged “potato crisis”, reports Bloomberg. According to the Agency, the representative of Calbee Rie Makuuchi stressed that the company is taking steps to resume sales. Discusses the possible import of potatoes from the United States, however, this is prevented by regulations that limit the allowable volume of imported agricultural products.

Another major manufacturer, Koike-Ya Inc., suspended the supply of nine types of products and completely stopped the implementation of seven.

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