Japan: Chips are down for snack lovers as storm wrecks supply of spuds

For potato chip lovers, the typhoon that just dumped a monstrous payload of rain on Hokkaido spells a double whammy. Typhoon No. 10 meant farmers could not harvest the potato crop in Hokkaido, so the island’s famed spuds are in short supply. Major snack firm Calbee Inc. has been forced to postpone the release of this year’s “A la potato” series in a major blow to chip friends throughout Japan. The eagerly awaited line of seasonal snacks, made from the newly harvested potatoes of Hokkaido, has been delayed from Sept. 5 to Oct. 3. Calbee relies on Hokkaido farmers for 70 to 80 percent of its spud supply, and the firm usually uses what is harvested in September and October until the following spring. More