Calbee buckles under economic pressure to raise snack prices again

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

Calbee produces some of Japan's most popular snacks. Pic: Calbee
Calbee produces some of Japan's most popular snacks. Pic: Calbee

Related tags: Calbee, Japan, Inflation, Potato chips, Koike-ya

Japan’s leading potato chip producer is raising the prices of its popular snacks and cereals for the second time this year to bolster against runaway costs that are spiking at the fastest clip in years.

In a statement, the Tokyo-based company said it will be increasing the price of its snacks and cereals sold in Japan by 5% to 20% from September. This follows the 7% to 10% increase in January,​ which Calbee cited was the result of a bad potato crop, along with a sharp increase in material and logistic costs.

Much to the dismay of fans, it also joined the ‘shrinkflation’ bandwagon and cut down its pack sizes from 80g to 72g.

While food costs are crippling consumer wallets around the world, it is especially sensitive in Japan, where wages haven’t increased over the past two decades. Compounding this, the yen plunged to a new 24-year low against the dollar, an especially dire state for the resource-poor archipelago, which is heavily reliant on imports for energy and food.

Smaller rival Koike-ya Inc. also announced price increases that will take effect in September.

Related topics: Markets, Ingredients, Snacks, Calbee

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