A shortage caused by crop failure.
The demand for potato chips in Japan this week is off the charts, as major players in the market Calbee and Koike-Ya has suspended the sale of the 49 types of products due to bad harvest in Hokkaido in the main region of cultivation of potatoes in the country.
Prices for popular brands on the Internet are 5-6 times higher than normal level. Twitter was filled with photos of nearly empty shelves with chips from a Japanese supermarket.
The Nikkei newspaper calls the situation, “potato crisis” and warns that the deficit could overwhelm and popular chain of fast food restaurants, depriving the Japanese easy access to French fries and other dishes.
The Japanese company Calbee, 20% of which is owned by PepsiCo, announced the suspension of shipment of 15 types of crisps from 22 April and the termination of the supply of 18 more products. After last year’s Hokkaido suffered from a record number of typhoons, the company expected to replenish the supply of potatoes in the U.S., but are unable to fully meet the demand. In addition, according to Quartz, Japanese companies are dissatisfied with the quality of American potatoes.
Share on Calbee potato chips market in the country is 73%. Chips Calbee flavored pizza that will no longer be marketed on the Internet auction Yahoo are available for 1,250 yen (about $12) for the container at the regular retail price of less than 200 yen. Last year Calbee potato snacks took first and second place in the poll conducted by TV Asahi of the top 10 thousand customers.
According to the Agency, NHK, price portions of the four potatoes from Hokkaido in supermarkets in Tokyo had jumped to 180 yen ($1,7), whereas previously it ranged from 100 to 120 yen. In August 2016 to the coast of Hokkaido got four Typhoon – the maximum for all time of observations, which was started over 100 years ago. Usually Hokkaido provides about 80% of the Japanese crop of potatoes and also an important supplier to the domestic market crops such as carrots, corn and pumpkin.
However, soon will come the harvest time of potatoes in the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, and the company expects to significantly increase its reserves and to resume the supply of chips and other products.
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