Black Friday Is Almost Here!
The Inventory team is rounding up deals you don’t want to miss, now through Cyber Monday. Click here to browse!

Shady Potato Chip Resellers Appear In Japan

[Image: Al_Fun4]
[Image: Al_Fun4]
Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

With select brands of popular Japanese potato chips vanishing from store shelves, folks are hoping to cash in.

Advertisement

As Kotaku reported last week, panic buying began at some stores after snack makers said they were either suspending or ending potato chip production due to domestic spud shortages.

Advertisement

This isn’t happening at every store (some are still fully stocked!), but it certainly is happening at a lot of them. Moreover, not all brands are effected and thus, those chips remain widely available.

The ones that are impacted—such as Pizza Potato, which won’t be produced anymore—are seeing a spike in online resale.

Advertisement

Many of these are bundles or boxes of bags. Keep in mind that a bag of Pizza Potato is usually around 130 yen (US$1.20), but can go for more or even as low as 100 yen. (In the above image, however, the price tag says 161 yen for a bag, which seems rather high for retail.)

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

On Sunday in Tokyo’s Akihabara, one rather suspicious looking man was spotted selling Pizza Potato for 800 yen a bag, which is about six times it’s original price.

Advertisement

Calbee’s Big Bag Lightly Salted, production of which is being suspended, was also being sold at a significantly marked up price.

Retailers appear to be combating hoarders and resellers with signs that read, “Limit one bag per customer.”

Advertisement
Advertisement

And yet, there are still sell outs.

Advertisement

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

I would caution these resellers against putting any faith in a market that is sure to crumble.

On a more serious note, I really cannot imagine a significant chip shortage here in the US. I’ve only recently started eating chips again myself (I started watching my sodium intake a little more vigilantly last year after a health scare; lost fifty pounds since then, and am doing much better, so the occasional mini-bag is no longer out of the question), but they’re such a ubiquitous snack here that the pandemonium resultant from a shortage of salty potato slices would be absolutely catastrophic.

Stay strong, my Japanese friends—and may your market reach equilibrium ere long!