Photo: SoraNews24
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Japanese snack maker apologizes for commotion caused by 2-yen price increase

42 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Last week, the internet was abuzz with chatter that snack maker Yaokin was planning to raise the price of its most popular line of crunchy munchies by two yen. Since it’s a product loved by people both young and old, such a decision would have national-level consequences, and sure enough, Yaokin has confirmed that the rumors are true, and this spring it will indeed be raising the price of its Umaibo puffed corn snacks.

The company made the official announcement through the Umaibo Twitter account.

Screen-Shot-2022-01-.png

The statement reads:

“Thank you for your continued support of Umaibo. As has been reported in various media outlets, due to an increase in the cost of Umaibo’s ingredients and shipping, as well as other expenses, as of April 1, 2022, we will be raising the price from 10 yen to 12 yen.

We were able to keep the price at 10 yen for the past 42 years thanks entirely to your support and the cooperation of everyone involved I Umaibo’s production and distribution, and we are deeply grateful to you all.

In addition, we sincerely apologize for the confusion and commotion that caused prior to our official announcement.

We will continue to do our utmost to bring you all products that make everyone happy.”

Yes, all of those numbers are correct. Umaibo will only be going up two yen in price, and it’s been at its current price of a ridiculously inexpensive 10 yen ever since it first went on sale in 1979.

Granted, puffed corn isn’t exactly haute cuisine, but in this day and age, it’s amazing to think that any company is selling its flagship product for such a low price, especially since Umaibo isn’t some tiny, single-bite snack that’d leave you feeling hungrier than if you’d eaten nothing at all. Nor does it skimp on flavor, as there are dozens and dozens of different flavors, from salty to spicy to sweet, all with large numbers of fans.

Those fans, though, aren’t about to turn their backs on Umaibo over a two-yen price hike, and have responded to Yaokin’s tweet with:

“You really worked hard keeping them at 10 yen for us.”

“Thank you for keeping the price at 10 yen for so long.”

“No problem at all with the new price.”

“I could go up to 100 yen.”

“I just have one request: Please don’t make them smaller.”

The solemn tone of Yaokin’s announcement might seem farcical, but it’s not unprecedented in the Japanese snack world. Multiple commenters were reminded of the time when Akaginyugyu, makers of the Garigari-kun brand of shaved ice popsicles (another delicacy very near and dear to the hearts of Japan’s snack lovers), apologized for a 10-yen increase in their prices, which had also been held incredibly low for many years.

While two yen isn’t a big increase in absolute terms, it’s still a sudden 20-percent jump that comes at a time when Japan is seeing prices rise for a wide variety of consumer goods, without similar gains in wages. Another factor is that Umaibo’s cheap price makes them especially appealing to elementary school-age kids, for whom an extra two yen is a bigger portion of their spending money than it is for older Umaibo fans.

If the reactions from Twitter users are anything to go by, though, scrounging up another pair of one-yen coins to get their Umaibo fix sounds like something most people are willing to do.

Source: Twitter/@Umaemon_40th

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© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

42 Comments
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Japanese snack maker apologizes for commotion caused by 2-yen price increase

Why apologize, they are causing the inflation happen in Japan while wages still the same.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

People need to get out more and learn where to buy them for a cheaper price instead of having a cow over the market price. Generally one pack costs 330yen with tax. I know places to get them for like 250yen. Some of my relatives love them so I buy them whenever I go back home.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Reason why wages aren't increasing in Japan. Ordinary people can't afford price hikes, so as cost of supplies go up, something has to give.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Oh my god, outrageous. /s

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

The first price increase in 43 years! Which is quite amazing and says a lot about Japan's stagnation.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

They arent the only people raising prices and 2 yen is miniscule compared to the close to 40 yen per liter gas has risen over the past 6 months or so, and no apologies ever from the petro companies for doing it!

5 ( +12 / -7 )

It is a 20% price increase. That is not minuscule.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

To have any chance of paying back the public debt the IMF recommends consumption tax rise to 15%. Which could not be considered 'high' - except for the fact public health bills are paid additionally, separately. Japan could likely succeed in VAT rises with an adequate influx of tourists, more talented expats, more international students (but....)

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Enough is enough, I used to buy it more often when it was 10 yen but since it became 12 yen I'm out.

I know this article wants you to think it is just 2 yen, but for me, it is 20%!!!

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

is this "newsworthy"?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

They should have made the hole in the middle wider. Noone would have even noticed.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Look at all the free publicity! Win win!

4 ( +8 / -4 )

EastmanToday  09:25 am JST

is this "newsworthy"?

The newsworthy part is that the price has not changed since 1979.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

This strikes me as forced "heiwa boke". Basically the media/powers-that-be distracting people into making a fuss about trivialities, to take their attention away from much more serious issues. There is much more significant inflation in Japan, hitting people every time they cook, turn on the heater, or drive a car, but let's just talk about a fun snack food from a company who coincidentally buy lots of media advertising.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Them sticks are some good eatin.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

gasp! The scandal! 2 yen increase? If my eyes rolled any harder they would fall out of its sockets. Can't believe this is even news. Just go and buy them at a shop that prices them cheaper. Not all shops price the same products the same price.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

these are 90% air anyway not even satisfying to eat

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

kohakuebisuToday  09:58 am JST

This strikes me as forced "heiwa boke". Basically the media/powers-that-be distracting people into making a fuss about trivialities, to take their attention away from much more serious issues. There is much more significant inflation in Japan, hitting people every time they cook, turn on the heater, or drive a car, but let's just talk about a fun snack food from a company who coincidentally buy lots of media advertising.

You make a great point. Every time I see serious news like the Vietnamese guy who had been bullied at work, it's as if people just don't care and move on with their lives but if some snack increased it's price ever so slightly, people talk about it at work and laugh away.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Yubaru: I didn’t hear from you when unleaded fuel drop to under Y 100 a litre 18 months ago.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Larr Flint

Today 09:23 am JST

Enough is enough, I used to buy it more often when it was 10 yen but since it became 12 yen I'm out.

I know this article wants you to think it is just 2 yen, but for me, it is 20%!!!

Than indeed don't buy it, and also stop buying other things. 20% of the 10 yen is low. Just keep buying other expensive things. What a waste comment you placed.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japan’s children suffering at the continued greed of Corporate Japan?!? : (Sorry. Yes, that’s a tad hyperbolic: )

Agree in part with @Mr Kipling 8:02am:

*- “**The first price increase in 43 years! Which is quite amazing *

and says a lot about Japan's stagnation.”

Still advocating Corporate Japan’s ‘shrinkflation’ as a continued, suitable alternative to ‘inflation’ in the supermarkets is not an answer either:

*- @zichi 10:58am: “They could have made it ¥2 shorter.”*

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I can't believe I've never had one. Now living in Australia, that poses a slight problem (I can't find them in any of the Japanese grocery stores here). But, they sound delicious and I have organised family in Japan to post me an entire carton to Australia. Itadekimasu!!!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

2 yen, on a product that retails at 10 yen is a significant increase.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

They are very light @Sean 11:58am so, the total for the parcel to you ‘down under’ should also be about…

… ¥2.

- “they sound delicious and I have organised family in Japan to post me an entire carton to Australia. Itadekimasu!!!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Umaibos are the best snack for sure. ¥12 is plenty fair IMO....the most annoying thing is that you'll get a bunch of shrapnel for change now. Reminds me of when Freddos and Taz bars were increased for 10p to 15p in the UK. A Freddo and a bag of pickled onion Meanies was my playtime snack of choice when I was a kid, all for 15p. Throw in a Kwenchy cup drink for 10p and you had a veritable banquet!! :D

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Oh, let it go! It’s high time Japan got rid of ¥1 coins and started round off prices to fives or zeros.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I didn’t hear from you when unleaded fuel drop to under Y 100 a litre 18 months ago.

You obviously missed the point. And why in the world would I even want to get in touch with you in the first place?

If you go back and research, you may notice I commented somewhere along the lines of "this aint gonna last long"

0 ( +3 / -3 )

People should not be putting anything into their bodies that costs ¥10-12.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

It is a 20% price increase. That is not minuscule.

If one only looks at percentages and not cost/value for the price, I doubt you will ever think ANY rise in prices will ever be miniscule.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

A 20% increase in the price of a product over 42 years is nothing! Would anyone really complain if they doubled the price, 20 yen for a snack is very reasonable.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Governments and economics always want inflation, but inflation have NEVER been good for the average people. Deflation is what makes the average people richer and live better lives, regardless of what the top line economic numbers say.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Gotta admit, I can't think of many things, if anything, that cost so little, even with the price hike. I remember buying penny candies as a kid, and I think those candies today are only sold in packages (if at all, most have been discontinued) that make them far beyond a penny for each.

As for inflation and stagnant wages, people are correct, and as with so many things, Japan is dead last in rankings among developed countries in increasing wages while inflation is making things more expensive.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm surprised this garbage is so popular.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I am proud to say that in 28 years not even once have I bought this product.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

20% in 42 years, that's only 0.476% per year, way less than the inflation over that period even in Japan.

However you present it in percentage terms it is still only 2 yen in actual money which is a miniscule amount!

At least it is more honest than the nasty shrinkflation most western snack manufacturers try to sneak past their customers!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Don't these stooges know anything. Raise it by 1.5 yen thereby forcing people to pay 2 extra yen whilst denying a 2 yen increase. It's all about plausible deniability y'all

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If people are going broke over a two yen price increase, they are going broke anyway. If you like the product, then buy it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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