Asia, India, China, Middle East, Processing, fries, chips, Trade/Markets/Prices

Calbee’s potato crisis: A lesson in supply chain management

Asia’s premier potato chip manufacturer, Calbee, recently grappled with an unprecedented potato shortage. This shortage was a result of a combination of extreme weather patterns and supply chain disruptions, leading the company to adjust its product prices multiple times within a year, as Michelle Toh reports in this CNN news story.

Toh writes that as Calbee embarks on a $1 billion global expansion, the potato crisis has underscored the importance of re-evaluating sourcing strategies.

Calbee heavily depends on potatoes for its diverse range of chips. However, between 2021 and 2022, Calbee faced a severe potato supply challenge. This shortage was further intensified by global food price hikes, pandemic-related supply chain disruptions, and geopolitical events.

To combat the shortage, Calbee is now collaborating with local Japanese farmers to bolster its domestic potato supply. Additionally, the company is exploring options to diversify its import sources, reducing its reliance on the U.S.

As Calbee sets its sights on international markets, particularly the U.S. and China, the recent crisis serves as a testament to the importance of a resilient supply chain in today’s globalized economy.

Source: This article is based on original content by Michelle Toh for CNN. Read the full article here and watch a video
Photo: Bags of Calbee chips at a supermarket in Tokyo in July 2021. Credit CNN

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