Top Global Markets for Buying Imported Potato Chips

Potato chips are a popular crunchy snack notable for satisfying hunger pangs around the globe like when consumers are watching television, pleasure reading, picnicking or simply relaxing. Potato chips are America’s favorite snack food, according to the Just Fun Facts information portal.

Although potato chips are commonly classified as a junk food, a reasonably sized portion of potato chips contains dietary fiber, protein and potassium. Modest consumption of potato chips is thus a healthier option than gorging on candy treats packed with sugar and corn syrup.

Globally imported potato chips were worth US$2.5 billion in 2020. That dollar amount reflects a 13.6% increase from $2.2 billion for 2016. From 2019 to 2020, the value of potato chips imported worldwide appreciated by 2.1%.

The $2.5 billion spent on imported potato chips compares to $4.5 billion for imported fresh or chilled raw potatoes purchased in 2020.

The 5 strongest consumer markets for importing potato chips purchased over a third (35.4% of the global total). The major markets for imported potato chips are the United States (9.6% of the global total), France (8.7%), Germany (6.5%), Netherlands (5.6%) and Canada (5%).

Among these 5 key import markets for potato chips, the greatest buying increase from 2019 to 2020 was the 15.3% gain generated by importers in the United States. The only other gain was the 3.7% increase for top 5 potato chips importer the Netherlands. The severest declines year over year belong to Germany (down -18.3%) and France (down -13.7%).

By comparing changes in consumer demand for imported potato chips by buyer country highlighted in this article, researchers can uncover the most compelling opportunities for selling potato chips and related products and services on international markets.

Potato Chips are a Consumer Convenience Product

Potato chips satisfy the criteria of a consumer good (also called an end product) created for consumers to buy in its final form to satisfy their snacking wants. In contrast, products like turbojets are usually purchased by companies or government entities rather than individuals.

Economists classify potato chips as convenience products, a technical classification for goods that are easily accessed and purchased relatively often. Many shoppers buy potato chips on weekly trips to their local grocery shops or even more frequently as a snack.

Based on statistics from EatByDate.com, an unopened package of potato chips can last up to 3 weeks past the package’s printed expiration date. An opened package of potato chips lasts 5 to 7 days if stored in the pantry.

Imported Potato Chips by Country

The sortable table below showcases marketing intelligence for the top 100 buyers of potato chips, ranked in descending order starting with the greatest annual sales amount at the 6-digit Harmonized System (HS) code level. For potato chips, the HS code prefix is 200520.

Also shown is each import country’s percentage of the global total purchases for imported potato chips in 2020, as well as the change in those sales from 2019 to 2020.

RankImporterUS$%Total2019-20
1United States$235,922,0009.6%+15.3%
2France$212,550,0008.7%-13.7%
3Germany$160,598,0006.5%-18.3%
4Netherlands$136,486,0005.6%+3.7%
5Canada$124,021,0005%-1.9%
6United Kingdom$84,721,0003.4%-0.7%
7Spain$65,050,0002.6%+5.4%
8Ireland$63,914,0002.6%+31.9%
9Hong Kong$62,699,0002.6%+11.5%
10Denmark$62,255,0002.5%+10.5%
11Italy$62,090,0002.5%+0.1%
12Belgium$61,928,0002.5%+4.5%
13Singapore$49,825,0002%+22.6%
14Sweden$49,563,0002%+24.2%
15Mexico$41,532,0001.7%+3%
16UAE$36,940,0001.5%+155.7%
17Russia$34,290,0001.4%+25.1%
18Kazakhstan$33,765,0001.4%+10.9%
19Austria$32,629,0001.3%+3.7%
20Lithuania$32,490,0001.3%+1.1%
21Belarus$32,413,0001.3%+5.1%
22Hungary$32,064,0001.3%+11.8%
23Czech Republic$30,790,0001.3%+30%
24Japan$29,304,0001.2%-1.8%
25Finland$25,448,0001%+8.5%
26Philippines$25,098,0001%+4.5%
27Poland$23,161,0000.9%+2.4%
28Bulgaria$22,776,0000.9%+17%
29Slovakia$22,226,0000.9%-2.4%
30Malaysia$18,101,0000.7%+88.5%
31Romania$17,112,0000.7%-1.4%
32Switzerland$16,867,0000.7%+6.1%
33Jordan$16,634,0000.7%+14.2%
34Portugal$15,016,0000.6%-0.5%
35Argentina$13,235,0000.5%+1%
36Palestine$12,840,0000.5%-24.5%
37China$12,518,0000.5%+41.8%
38Uruguay$12,426,0000.5%+0%
39New Zealand$12,348,0000.5%+16.5%
40Australia$12,046,0000.5%+16.4%
41Latvia$11,706,0000.5%+9.8%
42Chile$11,692,0000.5%+21.3%
43Estonia$11,368,0000.5%-1.7%
44Qatar$11,117,0000.5%+34.1%
45Slovenia$10,141,0000.4%+5%
46Luxembourg$9,951,0000.4%-1.7%
47Azerbaijan$9,866,0000.4%+16.5%
48Uzbekistan$9,445,0000.4%+42.3%
49North Macedonia$8,836,0000.4%+3.4%
50Guatemala$8,742,0000.4%-0.4%
51Libya$8,626,0000.4%-27.9%
52Taiwan$8,230,0000.3%+59.5%
53Thailand$8,076,0000.3%-10.5%
54Norway$8,034,0000.3%+23.6%
55Greece$8,021,0000.3%-18.4%
56El Salvador$7,799,0000.3%+41.5%
57Morocco$7,780,0000.3%+10.9%
58Israel$7,663,0000.3%-25.9%
59Croatia$7,280,0000.3%-19.6%
60Bosnia/Herzegovina$7,058,0000.3%+7%
61Namibia$7,023,0000.3%-14.2%
62Kuwait$6,929,0000.3%+47.3%
63Dominican Republic$6,887,0000.3%-14.6%
64South Korea$6,785,0000.3%+26%
65Ukraine$6,667,0000.3%-70.1%
66Serbia$6,651,0000.3%+34%
67Peru$6,299,0000.3%-5.6%
68Brazil$6,070,0000.2%-7.7%
69Moldova$5,698,0000.2%+10.1%
70Costa Rica$5,569,0000.2%-6.7%
71Paraguay$5,538,0000.2%-26%
72Mongolia$5,412,0000.2%-18.5%
73Macao$5,352,0000.2%-16.6%
74Botswana$5,010,0000.2%+25.3%
75Albania$4,978,0000.2%+0.3%
76Georgia$4,369,0000.2%-1.4%
77Laos$4,302,0000.2%+8335%
78Kyrgyzstan$4,277,0000.2%+7.5%
79South Africa$3,897,0000.2%+17.2%
80Armenia$3,719,0000.2%+25.4%
81Colombia$3,701,0000.2%+5.2%
82Cyprus$3,363,0000.1%-7.6%
83Iceland$3,330,0000.1%-2.3%
84Panama$3,268,0000.1%-41.5%
85Malta$3,265,0000.1%-18%
86Montenegro$3,180,0000.1%-15%
87Nicaragua$3,024,0000.1%-7.4%
88French Polynesia$2,983,0000.1%-15.5%
89Bolivia$2,960,0000.1%-34.6%
90Barbados$2,940,0000.1%-2.7%
91Saudi Arabia$2,868,0000.1%+101.3%
92Turkey$2,701,0000.1%-55%
93Bahrain$2,672,0000.1%+46%
94Eswatini$2,639,0000.1%-0.9%
95Iraq$2,557,0000.1%-0.9%
96Brunei Darussalam$2,492,0000.1%-17.1%
97Tajikistan$2,433,0000.1%-2.8%
98Cambodia$2,380,0000.1%-10.2%
99Nigeria$2,195,0000.1%+360.2%
100Greenland$2,194,0000.1%-9.5%

Among the 100 strongest global markets, 57 countries increased their spending on imported potato chips. The 7 greatest percentage gains year over year were posted by Laos (up 8,335%), Nigeria (up 360.2%), United Arab Emirates (up 155.7%), Saudi Arabia (up 101.3%), Malaysia (up 88.5%), Taiwan (up 59.5%) and Kuwait (up 47.3%).

Leading percentage declines for the remaining 43 potato chips-importing countries was Ukraine via a -70.1% annual drop.

Significant reductions in potato chips imports by value were also registered by Turkey (down -55%), Panama (down -41.5%), Bolivia (down -34.6%), Libya (down -27.9%), Paraguay (down -26%) and Israel (down -25.9%).

Richest Global Markets for Imported Potato Chips

Illustrated below is the market demand for potato chips imported during 2020 by 30 of world’s richest countries in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per person, according to RichestCountryReports.com.

Countries are listed in descending order starting with the wealthiest economy in terms of GDP per capita.

  1. Luxembourg: US$10 million (Down -1.7% from 2019)
  2. Singapore: $49.8 million (Up 22.6%)
  3. Ireland: $63.9 million (Up 31.9%)
  4. Qatar: $11.1 million (Up 34.1%)
  5. Macao: $5.4 million (Down -16.6%)
  6. Switzerland: $16.9 million (Up 6.1%)
  7. Norway: $8 million (Up 23.6%)
  8. United States: $235.9 million (Up 15.3%)
  9. Brunei Darussalam: $2.5 million (Down -17.1%)
  10. Hong Kong: $62.7 million (Up 11.5%)
  11. Denmark: $62.3 million (Up 10.5%)
  12. Netherlands: $136.5 million (Up 3.7%)
  13. United Arab Emirates: $36.9 million (Up 155.7%)
  14. Taiwan: $8.2 million (Up 59.5%)
  15. Iceland: $3.3 million (Down -2.3%)
  16. Austria: $32.6 million (Up 3.7%)
  17. Germany: $160.6 million (Down -18.3%)
  18. Sweden: $49.6 million (Up 24.2%)
  19. Australia: $12 million (Up 16.4%)
  20. Belgium: $61.9 million (Up 4.5%)
  21. Finland: $25.4 million (Up 8.5%)
  22. Canada: $124 million (Down -1.9%)
  23. Bahrain: $2.7 million (Up 46%)
  24. France: $212.6 million (Down -13.7%)
  25. Saudi Arabia: $2.9 million (Up 101.3%)
  26. United Kingdom: $84.7 million (Down -0.7%)
  27. South Korea: $6.8 million (Up 26%)
  28. Malta: $3.3 million (Down -18%)
  29. Japan: $29.3 million (Down -1.8%)
  30. New Zealand: $12.3 million (Up 16.5%)

Among the above wealthiest economies per capita, 20 spent more on imported potato chips in 2020 compared to 2019. The leading gainers were the United Arab Emirates (up 155.7%), Saudi Arabia (up 101.3%), Taiwan (up 59.5%), Bahrain (up 46%), Qatar (up 34.1%) and Ireland (up 31.9%).

Registering double-digit declines in their annual purchases of imported potato chips were: Germany (down -18.3%), Malta (down -18%), Brunei Darussalam (down -17.1%), Macao (down -16.6%) and France (down -13.7%).

US Demand for Imported Potato Chips

In 2020, the United States of America retained its place as the world’s biggest market for imported potato chips sales. US demand for imported potato chips was worth $235.9 million in US dollars.

America’s 5 biggest potato chips suppliers (Canada, Mexico, China, Honduras, Spain) furnished over nine-tenths (91.9%) of total US purchases of potato chips from international markets.

The following 15 countries benefited the most from selling imported potato chips to customers in the United inStates during 2020.

  1. Canada: US$118.9 million (50.4% of US total)
  2. Mexico: $89.1 million (37.8%)
  3. China: $3.8 million (1.6%)
  4. Honduras: $2.7 million (1.2%)
  5. Spain: $2.1 million (0.9%)
  6. Hong Kong: $1.9 million (0.8%)
  7. Ireland: $1.81 million (0.8%)
  8. United Kingdom: $1.78 million (0.8%)
  9. Taiwan: $1.1 million (0.5%)
  10. Japan: $926,000 (0.4%)
  11. Peru: $913,000 (0.4%)
  12. India: $898,000 (0.4%)
  13. Germany: $838,000 (0.4%)
  14. South Korea: $835,000 (0.4%)
  15. Malaysia: $819,000 (0.3%)

The above 15 international providers sold 96.9% of the $235.9 million worth of imported potato chips delivered to the United States during 2020.

Year over year, the fastest-growing suppliers of potato chips to American buyers from 2019 to 2020 were India (up 88.7%), Japan (up 70.2%), China (up 68.1%), South Korea (up 58.4%), Malaysia (up 42.4%) and Ireland (up 26.9%).

Unit Costs by Major US Potato Chips Suppliers

The United States of America paid a wide range of unit costs per ton of imported potato chips in 2020, depending on the potato chips shipper’s country of origin.

Below, you will find the average unit price that American importers paid to 15 of the top suppliers of potato chips to the US in 2020. They are presented in descending order starting with the nations that supplied the highest total dollar value worth of potato chips that the US bought on international markets.

  1. Canada: US$3,527 per ton (up 2.7% from 2019)
  2. Mexico: $3,942 (up 4.1%)
  3. China: $837 (down -3.9%)
  4. Honduras: $6,884 (up 0.4%)
  5. Spain: $5,197 (down -34%)
  6. Hong Kong: $7,367 (down -3.6%)
  7. Ireland: $10,169 (down -6.6%)
  8. United Kingdom: $8,073 (up 29.6%)
  9. Taiwan: $11,420 (down -6.7%)
  10. Japan: $13,420 (up 11%)
  11. Peru: $5,636 (down -6.7%)
  12. India: $3,338 (down -9.5%)
  13. Germany: $5,779 (up 33.8%)
  14. South Korea: $8,789 (down -9.9%)
  15. Malaysia: $5,250 (down -1.4%)

The lowest unit costs per ton of potato chips imported into the United States belongs to suppliers in China, India, Canada and Mexico.

America pays the highest unit price per ton of potato chips to suppliers in Japan, Taiwan, Ireland, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

From 2019 to 2020, there were 6 growers in unit cost per ton charged by top potato chips suppliers to America. Specifically, these increases belong to Germany (up 33.8%), the United Kingdom (up 29.6%), Japan (up 11%), Mexico (up 4.1%), Canada (up 2.7%) and Honduras (up 0.4%).

World’s Biggest Potato Chips Brands

Below, you will find the world’s strongest brands for potato chips. Shown within brackets is the global manufacturer plus the global head office location for each potato chips manufacturer.

  1. Lay’s (Frito-Lay: Plano, USA)
  2. Ruffles (Frito-Lay: Plano, USA)
  3. Pringles (Kellogg’s: Battle Creek, USA)
  4. Utz (Utz Potato Chip Company: Hanover, USA)
  5. Kettle (Kettle Foods: Salem, USA)
  6. Cape Cod Potato Chips (Snyder’s-Lance: Charlotte, USA)
  7. Herr’s (Herr Foods Inc: Nottingham, USA)
  8. Wise (Arca Continental: Monterrey, Mexico)
  9. Popchips (Velocity Snack Brands: Los Angeles, USA)
  10. Golden Flake (Golden Flake Snack Foods: Birmingham, USA)

Nine among the above gigantic potato chips manufacturers have their head office addresses in the United States of America. The only exception is Mexico-based Arca Continental which makes Wise potato chips.

See also

More great research: Best Global Consumer Markets for Selling Imported Diamonds, Most Valuable Markets for Selling Imported Sugar, Best Global Consumer Markets for Selling Imported Coffee, Best Global Markets for Buying Imported Corn, Best Global Consumer Markets for Selling Imported Wine

References

Independent insights and analysis presented in this article are based on researched facts and statistics sourced from the following educational portals.

BoyceWire, Consumer Goods Definition.

Eat By Date, How Long Do Potato Chips Last?.

Forbes, The Forbes Global 2000 List.

International Trade Centre, Trade Map.

Investopedia, Consumer Goods, Consumer Staples Definition, Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG).

Just Fun Facts, Interesting facts about potato chips.

Richest Country Reports, Top 50 Richest Countries by GDP per Capita.

Thrill List, Potato Chips Are the Healthiest ‘Unhealthy’ Snack.

United States Census Bureau, Foreign Trade State Data.

USITC DataWeb, US Merchandise Trade: Imports for Consumption.

Value Today, World Top Potato Chips Companies List by Market Cap.

Wikipedia, Potato chip.

World’s Top Exports, Potatoes Imports by Country.

Scroll to Top