News Packaged Food

Japan Currently Suffering From Massive Potato Chip Shortage

Can you imagine a world devoid of potato chips? Terrifying, right? Well that terror is sweeping Japan now.

After last year’s summer brought a flurry of typhoons to Hokkaido, Japan’s main island for potato production, the crop was all but destroyed, according to FOX News. This has led to a nationwide shortage of the tuber and forced Calbee, Japan’s leading snack manufacturer, to halt the sale of 15 different types of potato chips altogether.

Calbee’s potato chips are apparently the most beloved snack food in the entire country, so the chip shortage has called for some desperate measures to be taken.

Shelves are being cleared in stores across the affected areas of the shortage, and a black market has begun to pop up for the snack. Some bags of potato chips are going for as much as 1500 yen, or around 14 US Dollars, on auction sites.

Calbee spokeswoman Rie Makuuchi told Bloomberg that the company was “doing everything we can to resume sales again,” but there’s some hurdles the company is having difficulty clearing. While Calbee is waiting for the summer’s potato crop to flourish and pleading potato farmers in the southern island of Kyushu to harvest early, they’re trying to import potatoes over from countries like the United States. Because Japan has a legal limit on the amount of foreign potatoes that can be used in manufacturing, however, Calbee won’t be able to use imports as a surefire solution to this problem.

If this year’s crop flourishes, then the potato chip shortage should be over soon. But until then, Japan is going to be reeling from missing out on their favorite snack unless they’re willing to pay a much higher price for their chips.

Packaged Food

These Cola-Flavored Chips Are So Exclusive You Have To Win Them In A Claw Machine


Japanese snack maker Calbee is probably best known for those delicious shrimp chips you can usually find at most Asian markets. Now, Rocket News 24 reports that Calbee has added a line of cola-flavored chips for the holidays.

While the brand usually offers saltier options, they’re finally taking a dive into the sweeter side with these new soda chips. There is a catch, however.

Unfortunately, getting your hands on them isn’t quite as simple as heading to a grocery store. Since Calbee has partnered with Namco in this endeavor, the snacks will only be availble as prizes for the crane games at Namco-owned amusement centers.

Snack aficionados will have to earn their cola-flavored chips. Don’t know about you, but the chances of us winning a crane game on the first try as as close to zero as you can get. Still, we wouldn’t mind giving it a couple of shots for a handful of these cola chips. Judging from the video above, they sound pretty tasty.

The amusement centers are set to open in Japan beginning Dec. 18.

Photo: Namco


Strawberry Chocolate Shrimp Chips in a Bag


The Japanese chip scene includes a lot of shrimp-flavored eats, like those Shrimp Mayonnaise Doritos. More recently though, the snack masters over at Calbee have upped their chip game and introduced strawberry chocolate shrimp chips.

Calbee teamed up with chocolate company Royce to create this sweet + savory snack. Instead of settling for just strawberry chocolate for their new product, they intensified the chips’ flavors by adding strawberry powder to the chocolate mixture, which we can only assume makes the crisps fruitier and less shrimpy.

Unfortunately, these sweet shrimp chips are only available at Japanese Calbee Plus stores. But maybe — just maybe — Lay’s will step up and follow suit.

H/T RocketNews24 + Picthx Calbee

Fast Food

There’s Fast Food, and Then There’s KFC’s New Fried Chicken Flavored Potato Chips

In case you were looking for a new side to go along with that extra crispy bucket, KFC Japan’s new Ginger Salt Chicken Potato Chips help cut out the guesswork behind flavor harmonies. Why combine sweet coleslaw with savory chicken legs when you know for sure the best thing to go with chicken is even more chicken?

Available at Japanese convenience stores nationwide, this finger-lickin’ good combo is the result of the first-ever collaboration between KFC and chip company Calbee, best known for its popular shrimp-flavored snacks.

Best part is, if you’re really just fiending for foul, each bag comes with a coupon redeemable at KFC locations for some actual Ginger Salt Chicken. You know, to go with your chicken. Which go with your chips.

[Via Tokyo Walker]