Potato chips lead to a situation of panic in Japan? The news itself sounds like an oxymoron – Japanese people and panic? Well, if it is any relief, it was over an inane thing like potato chips, something like what happened when Maggi was banned.
Only in this case, there was no health warning; Japanese snack maker, Calbee announced that it was temporarily discontinuing the sale of 15 varieties of potato chips due to typhoons and floods destroying its crops last August at Hokkaido, which supplies 80% of Japan’s potatoes. This is the worst harvest in 34 years and its closest rival, Koikeya also temporarily suspended sale of none of its brands.
The panic was so much that many resorted to buying in bulk and supermarket shelves were wiped clean. Online prices jumped through the roof and sales took off over six times.
And all this for a bag of potato chips! And we though the Japanese were so stoic and collected!