• Fri. Sep 23rd, 2022

Japan’s top potato chip maker Calbee to raise prices by up to 20%

ByRandall B. Phelps

Jun 22, 2022

Calbee Inc., Japan’s answer to Frito-Lay with a huge line of products from flavored chips to pizza to low-carb granola, is raising prices again as companies struggle to absorb costs that are rising at the pace the fastest in years.

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(Bloomberg) – Calbee Inc., Japan’s answer to Frito-Lay with a huge line of products from pizza-flavored chips to low-carb granola, is raising prices again as companies struggle to absorb costs which increase fastest clip in years.

The Tokyo-based company said in a statement on Wednesday that it would raise prices for snacks and cereals in Japan by 5 to 20 percent from September due to rising material costs. Its shares rose 5.1% in Tokyo after the announcement, their biggest intraday gain in more than a month.

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While paying more for food is a global phenomenon, it’s a particularly sensitive topic in Japan, where stagnant wages are preventing households from swallowing a wave of price hikes for everything from burgers to beer. The yen’s fall to its lowest level in 24 years against the dollar is also exacerbating price pressures for the resource-poor archipelago, which relies heavily on imports for energy and food.

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The popularity of the snack maker, whose major shareholder is PepsiCo Inc., goes beyond supermarket shelves. Its regional souvenirs of limited-edition snacks ranging from octopus ball-flavored potato sticks in Osaka or taco rice-flavored ones as a nod to a popular dish in Okinawa’s southernmost prefecture are also very popular and will cost more in the fall, the company said.

The company has already raised prices several times this year due to a poor potato harvest and rising material costs. Much to the chagrin of chip lovers, he also had to reduce the size of the bags.

Small rival Koike-ya Inc. also announced price increases this month, including for its popular line of spicy and sour products that will take effect in September.