Japan takes potato chips very seriously.
From "Moist Mild Soy Sauce"-flavored "wet potato" Calbees to Ajiwai Consomme Pringles to Corn Soup Doritos, the Land of the Rising Sun is also the land of infinite sodium flavor crystal possibilities.
It is not surprising, then, that consumers and chip enthusiasts are starting to panic in the wake of a massive chip shortage caused by typhoons that rocked the island of Hokkaido in August. Due to the climate in Hokkaido's northern location, it's a big producer of root vegetables like beets, onions, and, of course, the almighty spud.
But given the beating that potato crops took in August, major chip manufacturers Calbee and Koike-Ya have had to stop the production of 49 chip products destined for Japanese shelves. According to The Manichi, the two companies will be suspending and terminating shipments because of quality concerns, and there is no word on when production on flavors like "rich consommé" and "pizza potato" will resume.
"Many of the imported potatoes did not reach the required level of quality, and we could not cover our full production range," a Calbee rep told The Manichi, adding that the company would resume sales of discontinued chip flavors only when levels of potato production return to normal.
In the meantime, social media is being flooded with photos of chip aisles in grocery stories looking decimated.