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Inflation brings end to beloved 114-year-old Japanese candy

By Kantaro Komiya and Daniel Leussink

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Inflation brings end to beloved 114-year-old Japanese candy

Not inflation, not pandemic, business decision that actually bring down company. In Japan many companies prefer bankruptcy rather than applying changes into their business.

Still, all is not lost for fans.

Do fans really want to pay extra for this candy?

14 ( +20 / -6 )

To be honest, I was surprised it was still being sold. Otsukare-sama Sakumaseika-san.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

One of the big candy makers should purchase the rights to the brand's formula and iconic art design.

18 ( +23 / -5 )

This inflation has finished with many businesses in the world, hopefully they can return back one day..

0 ( +6 / -6 )

A lot would disagree....global economic lockdown is one big over reaction.....

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

Japan's favourute candy company to close after for 114 years? Japanese children will be crying out loudly. And Japan's dentists will be crying out louder.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

The steel can was part of the attraction, and probably part of its downfall - too expensive.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Dont go and blame inflation for every mistake you made. Unwillingness to adapt to the current economy, and expecting people to purchase your product, just because of it's longevity is not a smart business move.

You have a product that has a relatively small profit margin, and you could have repackaged the product, less volume/amount for the same price, as many others have done, and probably continued in the business. But no, your stubborn attitude about keep things the way they are sank you.

8 ( +17 / -9 )

Good. It’s just pure sugar with zero nutrition. My mother in law once bought one for my kids as omiyage, and I just threw it away. I restrict sugar with my kids and my own diet. There’s no need for it, and it causes faster cell aging, insulin resistance and dementia/alzheimer’s.

-16 ( +13 / -29 )

If sales is down, then it ain't so beloved after all. I seriously doubt japan is mourning about this news. Is just candy. Not sure why he would refuse to raise prices and instead rather choose to go bankrupt instead. Plus i feel like there are other options to lower cost if they truly wish. Just dont make the tins cans then but just the candy.

And to be honest, these things never truly disappear. One way or the other, someone will always try to bring it back in some form. The owner will probably sell it's right to some other company in time.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

An exceeding poor candy. Popular 60 years ago because it was all they had.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

That candy container gives rise to some nostalgic feeling.... Unfortunately I've stopped taking it awhile. The confectionery market must be shrinking. The result may be the same, with or without inflation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

 I seriously doubt japan is mourning about this news. Is just candy. Not sure why he would refuse to raise prices and instead rather choose to go bankrupt instead. 

Only said by someone who doesnt understand the nostalgic feeling many Japanese have for products that bring back memories for them.

Case in point, the "umai-bo" price being raised from 10 yen. Do a little research and you'll get a better idea of what I am referring to here.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Honestly, most of the businesses which fail in Japan deserve to fail; un by eighty year old dudes who have no idea how to run a modern business.

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

I’m investing in Gummy Ganja Drops-soon to be a much in demand product!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Honestly, most of the businesses which fail in Japan deserve to fail; un by eighty year old dudes who have no idea how to run a modern business.

And What company are you running?

4 ( +12 / -8 )

Better go pick up a few cans before they are all gone. Who knows, 20, 30 years from now, an unopen can could be worth something

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I doubt if foreigners can really understand or much less appreciate Sakuma-shiki drops and the fond memories the candy brings to many in Japan.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

They survived for 114 years but are now a sign of the times. Never tried them.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

My question is, why doesn't the Japanese Government in its wisdom ~ sell bonds again to keep this candy company afloat like they do with thousands of other Japanese companies? I mean if this candy company is so Iconic and makes so many people very, very sad to see it go bankrupt, seems the best thing to do to keep everyone happy.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

It's a shame anytime a national treasure disappears or fades out. I hope that the company will find ways to keep it going. Where IS Mr. Musk?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

""Tokyo-based Sakumaseika Co said on Wednesday that it would go out of business in January due to rising production costs, a labor shortage and a drop in sales of its main product "Sakuma's Drops."""

No excuse to shut it down!

1- Rising production cost! Increase retail prices.

2- Labor Shortage! Pay reasonable wages.

3- Drop in sales, Evolve and get creative or hire a firm to help.

Watch and learn from the competition it always helps, major companies always spy on each others and learn.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I bought some of those on my first visit to Japan having seen GotF.

Stop being idiots and put the price up. You sell stuff for what it costs to make it plus a profit margin that keeps your company trading and your staff properly remunerated. Retail 101. Japan is not a third world country. I'm sure folk can pay a few more Yen for sweets.

6 ( +7 / -1 )


-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Rival Sakuma Confectionery Co, which was formed when its management parted ways with Sakumaseika's after the war, will continue to produce a similar product, confusingly named Sakuma Drops, carried in a similar can but in green.

Two companies called Osho making gyoza (and probably ordering gangster hits on each other), two companies called Horai making butaman, and now two companies called Sakuma making boiled sweets.

This is all "Succession" type family squabbles isn't it. In the words of Marvin Gaye

Love your mother, she bore you

Love your father, he works for you

Love your sister, she's good to you

Love your brother, your brother

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Extremely disappointing news to wake up to. Hopefully there will be a huge campaign to force Sakumaseika Co to reverse their decision. Sakumas Drops candy is unique to Japan only - and it would be a shame for future generations of Japanese kids to miss out.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

With these beloved candies coming to an end, watch the greedy sharks buy them up and raise the prices while they sell them online. Then let's talk "inflation"!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Simply raise the price, people will understand. At least they're not blaming Russia.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Can get a bag of exactly the same thing in Australian supermarkets. The only unique thing about them is/ was the tin.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There will be more bankrupt businesses in the coming months.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

The cost of producing the candy would not be effected too badly by inflation. However, the cost of manufacturing a multi-colored printed can would be massively effected by inflation. The cost of the can has to be four or five times more than the candy. Why didn’t they just drop the van for a cheaper form of packaging?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My Grandma's favorite boiled sweet, used to spend all day playing oral squash thanks to all the different flavours with her teeth!

Grandma would be heartbroken learning Sakuma's Drops had fallen on stony ground

Thank heaven Grandma shuffled off this mortal coil

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

To go out of business without even trying different approaches means they likely want to go out of business. There's so many things they could try to cut costs. Maybe repacking and remarketing can revive sales even if they cost a little more. They're just giving up.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

¥200 yen a tin.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Bought 20 of these cans at Daiso last April.

Ready to make a final run on them.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I just ordered 10 cans from from Amazon for $50 + tax.

You should too.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Why not try revamping the product or finding an alternative business solution if these sweets are a tradition?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Grandma would be heartbroken learning Sakuma's Drops had fallen on stony ground

she might have had other things rather than a sugary sweet infused with a chemical colouring and taste to be worried about. She must have been a saint if this is breaking her heart. There are lots of disappointments in life a candy not one.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

As usual, lost on most people here...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I literally have a can right now in my kitchen with 3 pieces left in it. Kids today love them, too.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Amazon 8.95

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If it was still SO popular it wouldn't be closing down just restructuring. It had its day now bow out gracefully.

0 ( +1 / -1 )


Try this link.

Amazon 8.95


-1 ( +0 / -1 )


It’s candy.

Yes, and it's also a part of history.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

One of the first candies I tried after coming to Japan.

There was something attractive about the tin, but the candies themselves are just average in the land of the ame-chan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

When we were kids, all the sweets/candy were "boiled sweets/candy" which we could purchase for a penny each. The shop had many large glass jars with different ones. Always called in on the way home from school.


1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yes you have to be from Japan to think it’s unique, special. These sweets are made exactly as in other countries. It’s the packaging…the tin, not the contents. As the article says other companies make them in Japan make the same candy. Calm down look on Amazon if you miss them so much….or buy a more modern tasting candy, or exactly the same.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Why not make it in China and sell in Japan. That would make it profitable.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )


Good. It’s just pure sugar with zero nutrition.

In other words...CANDY.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Cricky, my friend

Grandma with the help of those sugary sweet infused with a chemical colouring disapproved of my staying in Kochi Japan polluting the younger members of family with my political views until in her mid nineties.

Covid had Grandma having to choose to stay with me.

Grandma brought more tins of Sakuma's Drops than I could count.

We argued incessantly even while I washed Grandma in the bath.

Up until the last moments.

Grandma left me all her memories from the war until her death.

Many chronicles to teach me how to speak Japanese properly, And understand the meaning of sacrificing one views.

We could have been friends.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

OMG! Why is Japan's favourite candy packed in a tall slim tin with a small round opening at the left top side? Is Japan's favourite candy liquid and non-solid? Have Japanese children been drinking their favourite candy for a hundred and fourteen years? In countries all over the world, non-liquid candy is packed in small, square, or round, or rectangle pieces packed in waxed coloured paper or tin foil. Has Japan's favourite candy company been packing Japan's favourite candy in a small, tall, slim tin with a small round opening at the top left corner for a hundred and fourteen years ? And have children in Japan been drinking their favourite candy for 114 years? OMG!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

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