- Calbee North America, maker of snow-pea crisps, shrimp chips, and potato chips, will build a production facility in Senatobia, MS, in a former BMW factory.
- The company, a joint venture founded by Japan's snack-chip giant Calbee and Idaho potato grower R.D. Offutt in 2010, operates plants in California and Oregon.
- Calbee North America will invest $51.1 million in the new plant, which will employ 254 people.
Back in the 1970s when Calbee, the second-largest chip maker on earth after Frito-Lay, first started importing to the United States, its products were exotic. Americans weren't big fans of shrimp chips. But times and tastes change. And so do demographics. As the Asian population in America has grown, and as younger people search for new styles of food, Calbee's products have grown in popularity. It's snow-pea crisps have become ubiquitous in markets across America's major cities.
There's a lesson here: Americans crave snack chips that are less predictable, and a bit healthier, than what they find in the typical convenience store. And the latest company to see that is Beanitos, maker of bean-based snacks that has seen sales double in the past year.