Talking about potato chips in Japan, the most well known maker is Calbee. Here is their official site and this is their potato chips page. The most standard flavor would be "salt base" all over the world. As far as I remember, we had just "salt flavor" before, but now Calbee has only "light salt”(usu-shio). I checked the U.S pringles site and I have found that they don’t have "light salt". On the other hand, Japanese pringles makes only "light salt" as the Japanese special. hmm maybe Japanese like "light salt" and dislike regular salt. The second most popular chips in Japan would be "consomme". Actually my friend likes this "consomme garlic" very much and always has it in his desk.
These two would be okay, but I wonder if some other flavors would be different from foreign countries. For example in Japan Aonori is a very popular flavor for chips, aonori is green laver and is a type of edible green seaweed. if you tried eating Okonomi-yaki or Tako-yaki before you know that it is the small green topping. Calbee has two kinds of aonori chips, "Aonori-salt" and "Double Aonori- nori nori" chips. Do you want to try? after eating, please check in the mirror, some aonori will be stuck in your teeth.
I wrote about Umami in this Ajinomoto post. yes! we love the taste of of dried-bonito flakes, dried kelp with soy sauce. So they are "kombu soy sauce" chips and "butter soy sauce" chips. as a local edition, they made "Kansai (west japan) soy sauce" chips, "Kyushu (south Japan) soy sauce" chips which showcase the differences in soy sauces. Now they have special chips for a limited time only that showcase famous salts. This is "Okinawa special salt" chips, and this is "Nagasaki special salt" chips. yeah, every snack in Japan seems to have a local edition now :-). For hot pepper lovers, there are "kimchi flavor" as Korean, "spicy BBQ" as American and of course as Japanese Shichimi Togarashi is here and Jyako Mentaiko(hot and spicy cod egg paste) is here.
I suppose they don't sound too delicious for foreign people he he he. and as far as I saw on this popular chips ranking (2003 ranking, but i don't think it has changed much), regular salt or consomme overwhelmingly have good sales in Japan too.
The popular Chips ranking 2003
1. Koikeya Consomme.
2. Calbee Hard fried Potato light salt.
3. Koikeya Nori salt.
4. Calbee A la Potato light salt.
5. Calbee Consomme Punch.
6. Calbee Pizza Potato.
7. Koikeya light salt.
8. Calbee A la Potato mild butter. 9. Meiji Butter Soy sauce : Out of sale.
10. Calbee Hot Chili pepper : Out of sale.
Check this news.