Hot weather and low rainfall has resulted in a poorer-than-expected potato harvest on Japan’s most northerly island. Hokkaido is known as Japan’s food base, producing a treasure trove of fruits, potatoes and other root vegetables and cereals, as well as livestock, seafood, wine, sake and beer.
Trifecta of challenges
The high temperatures and lack of precipitation in July means smaller than usual potatoes and a harvest that is less prolific than usual.
As such, Calbee has announced the price of its potato chips will go up by 7% to 10% in January 2022.
The decreased potato harvest, however, is not the only factor sending the price of the Japanese consumer’s treasured treats.
According to Calbee, raw materials and logistics costs have also gone through the roof.
The Tokyo-headquartered producer is also reducing the net weight of some products, including its signature potato stick snack Jagarico by about 5%.
The company said it ‘found it difficult to keep product prices and weights where they are’ despite ‘the utmost efforts to absorb rising costs’.
Back in 2017, Calbee temporarily suspended the sale of some of its snacks due to a bad crop in Hokkaido, thanks to inclement weather. The announcement caused a panic among consumers, with the demand for the snacks surging. This caused product being sold at six times their retail price on online marketplaces.