Price Hikes Planned for 824 Products in Japan in May

Tokyo, April 29 (Jiji Press)—Japanese consumers will continue to face a wave of price hikes in May, with prices of canned coffee products set to go up for the first time since 1998.

According to Teikoku Databank Ltd. 195 major companies in the country are poised to raise prices of a total of 824 products next month.

At the start of May, major beverage makers will hike prices of 185-gram cans of coffee in the face of surging prices of coffee beans, sugar and cans.

Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan Inc. will raise the price of Georgia Emerald Mountain Blend to ¥135 from ¥124. The price will be lifted to ¥152 from ¥125 for Kirin Beverage Co.’s Kirin Fire Hikitate Bito and to ¥151 from ¥124 for Asahi Soft Drinks Co.’s Wonda Morning Shot.

Canned coffee products sold through vending machines are likely to cost ¥140 per can, up by ¥10.

Canned baby formula and canned foods are also likely to see price rises.

Prices have been raised or will be raised for a total of 21,205 products this year, with the figure representing a 3.3-fold jump from the previous year. In June, prices will be increased for over 3,300 products.

“Consumers have been tightening their purse strings further since last October when prices were raised for a number of products” as the pace of price hikes has been very high, a Teikoku Databank official said.

Although an increasing number of companies are moving to increase wages, “consumption is unlikely to pick up if social security premiums are raised as well,” the official warned.