Japanese food giant Nissin Foods Holdings is to start manufacturing potato crisps at its China factory, aiming to use the popularity of its instant noodles range to score sales in the snacks sector.

The Osaka-based company already operates an instant noodles production facility in the southern province of Guangdong and is installing a new potato crisp line. The first bags of crisps – using locally-sourced potatoes – are expected to be available in August or September.

“We are developing products that we hope will be accepted by Chinese consumers and we have been carrying out extensive research on the flavours that they like,” a Nissin spokesperson said.

“We already have a brand that is famous in China and we intend to use that brand recognition and reputation to sell potato chips as well,” the spokesperson told just-food, stressing how one initial flavour will be Nissin Cup Noodle.

The company has set a sales target for Hong Kong and China of JPY53.7bn (US$483m) by the fiscal year to March 2021, up 30% on the year to March 2016.

“The instant noodles market in China is very competitive, but we hope to combine our noodles and potato crisps delivery channels to improve our market share,” the spokesperson said. “Instant noodles will remain our main business in China, but we also have plans to expand our product lines for crisps as well.”