• Economy

Christmas Cake Prices Jump 7.8 Pct in Japan

REUTERS/Yuya Shino
A man dressed as Santa Claus promotes Christmas cakes to pedestrians outside a pastry store at Tokyo’s Ginza shopping street December 25, 2014.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The average price of whole Christmas cakes in Japan this year is up ¥325, or 7.8%, from a year earlier, reflecting surging costs of almost all major ingredients, Teikoku Databank Ltd. said in a survey report Tuesday.

According to the survey, prices of Christmas cakes measuring 15 centimeters in diameter average ¥4,468.

Also behind the price increase would be a post-pandemic demand recovery, the private research firm said.

The survey covering Christmas cakes sold under the original brands of 100 firms found that 81 firms raised prices and that 20 of them increased at least ¥500, mostly for products sold at department stores for approximately ¥4,000-¥6,000.

Meanwhile, markups do not exceed ¥300 for many cakes sold at large-scale retailers, such as superstores, for ¥3,000-¥3,999.

As of October, prices of milk, sugar, butter, strawberries and other ingredients were up steeply from a year earlier. Egg prices, in particular, jumped 29% due to the impact of the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza last year.

Compared with the average Christmas cake price of ¥3,939 in 2021, when food prices were still moving calmly, the 2023 price is ¥529, or 13.4%, higher.

A Teikoku Databank official suggested the possibility of consumers shunning high-priced cakes in this Christmas season, saying, “They may not accept substantial price hikes.”