Shock waves buffeted fans of the long-selling corn puff snack Karl on Thursday after its maker, Meiji Co., said it will limit the flavors to two and pull it from shelves in eastern Japan beginning this summer.

The company said from September, due to dwindling sales, it will only produce its two most popular flavors — cheese and light salt — at a factory in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture. The snack, which has become a household name, will also only be sold in prefectures west of Shiga, Kyoto, Nara and Wakayama.

"For the past three years, we've been mulling what to do with the Karl brand," a spokesman told The Japan Times on Friday. "Given its long history, we've been seeking a way to keep the name alive."