TOKYO (TR) – Snack giant Meiji will pull its long-running Curl cheesy corn puff snacks from shelves in eastern Japan after losing out to rivals like potato chips, the company revealed Thursday, reports NHK (May 25).
Production of the puffs will be significantly reduced in August due to sluggish sales, Meiji said in an announcement, adding that the product will be pulled from shelves in regions from Hokkaido to the Tokai region.
Curl puff sales last fiscal year dropped to a third of the some 6 billion yen seen in the 90s amid intense competition with other snacks like potato chips, suggesting a bleak outlook for the beloved product that launched in 1968.
Meiji plans to move production from its five factories spread around Japan to one in Aichi Prefecture, and cease sales of five varieties such as its curry-flavored Curls. The cheese and light flavors will also be limited to the west and Kansai regions.
“Essentially, the way things are, it seemed inevitable that we would shutter sales altogether,” Meiji said, ”but it’s a product that people have loved for a long time, so we would like to continue sales [of Curl] as a region-limited product.”