Corn Snack Production Surges to Fill the Void as Potato Snack Output Declines.

According to the All Japan Confectionery Association, the production volume of snack confectionery (potato-based, corn-based, wheat-based, and rice-based) in 2022 was 282,883 tons, showing a 0.5% decrease compared to the previous year. However, the production value increased by 4.8% to 335 billion yen, and the retail value rose by 4.3% to 476.8 billion yen.

Notably, the largest category, potato-based snacks, faced challenges in the first half of the year due to uncertainties in raw material procurement, leading to a significant decrease in production volume for sliced and molded chips. Although the expansion of corn-based snack production partially compensated for this shortfall, the overall production volume fell below the previous year’s figures.

On the other hand, production value and retail value exceeded the previous year’s numbers, despite challenges such as price increases and reduced capacity. While domestic demand remains robust, there are signs of recovery in souvenir, office, and inbound demand, which have been sluggish for some time. The industry’s future prospects are eagerly awaited.

Calbee, boasting a significant share in the snack market, commemorates the 30th anniversary of its iconic “Kabuki Potato” with a renewal after four years, now reintroduced as “Kabuki Potato Black Pepper.” The updated version features black pepper of varying coarseness, enhancing spiciness from the beginning to the end. Simultaneously, “Luxurious Black Pepper” was temporarily released, intensifying the black pepper flavor before the renewal. Other flavors also underwent a packaging makeover to celebrate the 30th anniversary, contributing to the festive atmosphere.

Koikeya has revamped its “Pure Potato” brand, known for the rich flavor of potatoes and a distinct fluffy texture. The brand name has been changed from “PURE POTATO Potato Comfort” to simply “Pure Potato.” Additionally, four new variations have been introduced: “Okhotsk Salt and Rock Salt,” “Legendary Refreshing Pepper and Rock Salt,” “Truffle and Rock Salt,” and “Forbidden Prosciutto,” along with the new classic “Five-Star Consommé.” This renewal aims to enhance the enjoyment of the deep potato flavor and unique texture.

Inbound tourism is expected to keep recovering, but factors like the “With Corona” situation, inflation, and consumers being more thrifty due to better wages need to be considered when assessing future demand.

Source : DIAMOND Chain store 27th Dec 2023.