Thursday, July 6, 2017

Calbee And The Hokkaido Potato Crisis Of 2017

I've been asking around lately about what's going on with Calbee and why Series Two didn't get released in June when expected.  Last week I sent a message to the company using the "Contact Us" page on their international website and was surprised last night to get this message from them:

Thank you for your contacting us about Calbee baseball chips.
We were sold the first of it from 27,March on this year.
After that it was paused production temporarily by reason of
shortage of potatoes what effect of typhoon to Hokkaido last year.
However we decided to resume selling of the first from mid July,
because harvest of potato is favorable from Kyusyu.
We regret to inform you that it isn't possible to inform you of time
to release of the second.
However we prepare for selling it.
We would like you to wait for informing release date at Calbee HP.
Sincerely yours,
Customer Service Center
Calbee, Inc.

It turns out that there is a potato shortage in Japan right now.  Calbee uses potatoes from Hokkaido and the Hokkaido potato crop was disrupted by a typhoon (or several typhoons - the news stories I've seen don't agree on the number) last summer.  Calbee's had to stop production temporarily of a number of their products and that includes the "Professional Baseball Card" brand.  It looks like there are potatoes back in the pipeline both from Kyushu (which is what I think they meant by "Kyusyu" in their email) and Hokkaido so hopefully there will be news soon on when the cards will be out.

I had seen some items on Calbee's website talking about the crisis but since I don't think about the cards in conjunction with the potato chips, I didn't realize that it would affect the release of the cards as well.


Jason Presley said...

Reads like a chapter of Freakanomics!

Fuji said...

Interesting. I wonder if it'll affect the production numbers for this year's Calbee cards.

NPB Card Guy said...

Yeah, it'll be interesting to see how this all plays out. I'm hoping they still do three Series but we'll have to wait and see.

Dan Skrezyna said...

How unfortunate. Hope they get better weather to be able to make releases next year. Hope you get three series'.