Since 1993, Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan has held prices steady on its products, with the only increases coming in the form of additional sales tax when the Japanese government has increased rates.
That amazing streak is about to end, though. On Jan 1, Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan released a statement, saying: “Recently, our distribution costs have been soaring, and the prices of our products’ ingredients have been increasing as well. We had intended for our company to absorb these increased costs through company-wide efforts at improving production and operation efficiency. However, the current conditions have made that extremely difficult, and so we will be revising the prices of a portion of our product lineup.”
Starting with shipments scheduled for April 1 (which corresponds with the start of the business year at many Japanese companies), Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan will be raising the suggested retail price for plastic bottles of Coca-Cola with a size of 1.5 or two liters by 20 yen. That will shift the price of the 1.5-liter bottle from 320 to 340 yen, and the two-liter bottle from 340 to 360. Sprite, Canada Dry, Fanta, the juice-based soft drink Qoo (all distributed by Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan) will experience identical price bumps.
However, buying soda in bulk is far less common in Japan than it is in the U.S. Since single-serving sized cans and bottles, like the ones commonly bought from vending machines and convenience stores in Japan, will be unaffected, the price hike for Coca-Cola itself might not put much of a dent in that many individual consumers’ wallets. On the other hand, Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan will also be raising prices on 1.5-liter or larger sizes for its Ilohas and Mori no Mizu Dayori bottled water lines, as well as its popular Ayataka and Sokenbicha bottled green teas, which many families and offices buy and keep on hand as staple drinks.
Still, at least if you’re grabbing a quick drink to guzzle at the train station, one of the company’s limited-edition, just-for-Japan versions like peach Coca-Cola, or a beautifully decorated Japan-sightseeing Coke bottle, it’ll be just as affordable as ever.
Sources: Kyodo via Otakomu, Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan via IT Media
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