News in brief

Calbee, Koike-ya halt snack production amid Japan's potato shortage

Calbee and Koike-Ya are halting production of 49 potato chip products due to potato shortages. Pic: ©iStock/gemenacom

Inclement weather has led to Japan’s smallest harvest of potatoes since 1983, prompting the country’s snack giants to stop production of several potato snacks.

Calbee has temporarily halted production of 15 products and permanently discontinued 18 items following Japan’s worst potato harvest in 34 years.

Calbee makes about half of the country’s potato snacks, including Kappa Ebisen Shrimp Chips and Jagarico Salad Potato Sticks.

The shortage has also effected Calbee’s main rival, Koike-ya, which makes the Kara Mucho and Koikeya Potato Chips.

Like Calbee, the manufacturer has temporarily suspended production of nine products and permanently ended seven snack items.

Potato crunch

Four typhoons struck Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, last August. The dense agricultural area produces 80% of the country’s potatoes.

To make up for the shortfall, the snack makers increased their US potato imports, but this still did not meet demand.

According to Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, potato prices have risen almost 20% every month since last October.

In Tokyo, 1kg of potatoes cost ¥402 ($3.67), up from ¥336 ($3.06) a year ago.

On Tuesday, Calbee’s shares fell by 1.2%, while Koike-ya saw its shares tumble by 3.5%.

Both companies have declined to comment.

Related News

Calbee UK's Japanese-inspired pea-based snacks are a healthy alternative to fried potato chips. Pic: ©iStock/NaokiKim

Calbee looks to pulses for proposed UK snacks range

Julian Awdry of Idaho Pacific

Cash in one’s chips: The humble potato’s new Asian markets

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.