The price and demand of potato chips in Japan had an overwhelming increase after famous brand Calbee announced that they are stopping production temporarily.
The decision came after Japan was hit with bad storms that affected the farming regions in Hokkaido, leading to the country’s worst potato harvest in 34 years, according to Fortune.
One bag of Calbee potato chips, which usually sells for $2, is going for as much as $12 in online auctions. Calbee’s announcement also caused many to panic-buy chips, leaving store shelves empty.
Calbee spokesperson Rie Makuuchi said that as part of the solution, they might consider importing potatoes from the U.S. Another option would be to encourage farmers in the southern island of Kyushu to harvest their potatoes earlier than usual.
Bloomberg added that apart from Calbee, Koike-ya Inc., a smaller potato chips company, also stopped the sales of nine of their products. And because they rely solely on homegrown potatoes, they are not sure when their production will resume.
Although the problem right now centers around potato chips, restaurants may also be affected with shortage of potato products.
Many Twitter users in Japan reacted to this so-called “potato crisis,” after which they realized how addicted they are to potato chips.