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Prices set to rise in Japan for over 7,000 food items on cost hike

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Food prices will continue to surge in Japan in the first four months of 2023, with those of more than 7,000 items set to climb on the back of rising logistics and personnel, as well as high material costs, according to a recent survey by the credit research company.

Wasn't there a massive budget a few months ago including subsidies to "small and medium-sized businesses to offset the effects of inflationary pressures"?

I wonder what black hole of cronyism that disappeared into.

7 ( +38 / -31 )

let's raise taxes too... and then wonder why people do not want to make babies or visit Japan from overseas.

12 ( +36 / -24 )

But hey, remember, Bank of Japan Kuroda has definitely stated that prices and inflation will go down again starting in 2023! See, already they are starting to fall. Thank you Kuroda for your sage advice!

14 ( +26 / -12 )

Would rather wages rise by 70,000 then a commodity not included in the offical tabulation of inflation.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Doesn't matter how much prices rise, salaries/wages will not rise and the Japanese people will gaman themselves, plus the J government will always come out with their joke inflation figures of 3%.

-8 ( +28 / -36 )

I often think there seems to be plenty of scope for reducing supermarket prices when I see how expensive many things are in Japan compared to other Asian countries. Is there a lack of competition or is the famed convoluted distribution service still in existence? So many totally normal products elsewhere are, in Japan, in tiny portions and getting tinier or they are adulterated with some cheap material to bulk them out (often air).

8 ( +25 / -17 )

Japan really should implement VAT. Small to zero tax on essential items and higher taxes on luxury and non-essentials.

22 ( +27 / -5 )

Japan really should implement VAT. Small to zero tax on essential items and higher taxes on luxury and non-essentials.

Not going to work. The problem is that what you may consider to be a "luxury" item, like wagyu, or a 20,000 yen mango, is not the same for someone else who "only" eats those high end products.

It could have worked, but Japan shot itself in the foot by promoting everything they make as higher quality and "better".

-1 ( +14 / -15 )

Made a rare trip to a pub 2 weeks ago, a pint cost the same as when I arrived in 2000. Inflation?

-13 ( +7 / -20 )

I am always wondering how the same product (yogurt o frozen tsukuje) can be almost double price between two different stores.

Many produts have no clue with Ukrania war but prices are rising a lot. Instead of to increase taxes for jieitai, je government should take care of its population.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

stop to pay taxes and fire KISHIDA who buy weapons from US with the Japanese debts. check Kishida's salary and you will understand why inflation is not his concern.

-3 ( +14 / -17 )

Coming soon....

Food stamps for military service.

-7 ( +13 / -20 )

Not going to work. The problem is that what you may consider to be a "luxury" item, like wagyu, or a 20,000 yen mango, is not the same for someone else who "only" eats those high end products.

That makes zero sense.

Increasing the tax progressively on such items like wagyu or insanely priced produce is exactly an effective use of a luxury VAT on those with the means, or lack of sense, to consume such "high end products".

Their unsustainability and resource intensiveness should not be supported by having the majority pay taxes and rising prices on basic necessities, which is incredibly regressive.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Grow your own food and you won't have to worry about this

if I had room for a garden, I would but sadly my family bicycles are taking up space in an area that gets no sun anyway. Got to love Japanese houses.

8 ( +20 / -12 )

""The pace of the increases will be 1.5 times higher than that for the same period this year, as a rapid weakening of the yen against other major currencies, such as the U.S. dollar, sharply lift the costs for imported food and beverage products.""

Consumers do understand the current situation and are complying and willing to pay the extra, but will the prices drop if and when the cost of imports drop?? or when the jpy gets back to where it was prior? I doubt it and that's when people get angry and fight back by cutting back or even stop purchasing selective items, it is the only way to fight back.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I am always wondering how the same product (yogurt o frozen tsukuje) can be almost double price between two different stores.

Give an example here of something similar. AEON Malls, have a supermarket inside, typically run by Max Valu, but still AEON Mall, then there is the stand alone Max Valu stores, and AEON's "discount" supermarket Big.

The price for the exact same products, within the same company are higher at the "top" end stores vs the "discount" ones and it's noticeable as well.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Forgot to mention, many producers are refusing to raise prices and are keeping their products at very reasonable levels or NO change I noticed. only the greedy and the scammers are taking full advantage despite all the subsidies and tax credits.

Consumers are NOT stupid they are noticing and will punish these scums.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

That makes zero sense.

Increasing the tax progressively on such items like wagyu or insanely priced produce is exactly an effective use of a luxury VAT on those with the means, or lack of sense, to consume such "high end products".

Their unsustainability and resource intensiveness should not be supported by having the majority pay taxes and rising prices on basic necessities, which is incredibly regressive.

Not going to work within the current system. You are suggesting a total overhaul of how the consumption tax system works here, and even to consider it would take a generation if not more, to implement.

My point about the "products" was to give an example alone. Who decides what is "insanely" priced? Who makes the decision about what is "essential?" What is essential is decidedly different for each per person, and just because you see something as "insanely priced" others have zero problem with paying for it because they expect to pay for quality.

You have to realize that for far too many Japanese, "price" equals quality, whether that is true or not, is totally up to the person. I could share with you countless numbers of items that Japanese think are quality, but in reality to the rest of the world, are far from it. Hence the problem even considering a VAT, no one could ever agree upon what is "essential".

It is far from being as simple as saying they "should" do something. Hell when they changed the consumption tax they had to come up with the convoluted 8% vs 10% to appease people. That is totally screwed up too!

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Someone could make lots of $$$ by starting a site listing items prices before and after inflation with locations so people can see and decide which item to buy where to go shopping.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

as a rapid weakening of the yen against other major currencies, such as the U.S. dollar, sharply lift the costs for imported food and beverage products.

they do this price hike every time then yen goes up but never give money back or decrease price when yen goes back down soon after.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

quote: I very much doubt they have a complete list of every item that is being sold in Japan and real-time updates about what their prices will be in 2023.

I can't verify that for this case, but this sort of data has traditionally been recorded and published. In the UK a periodical called 'Shaw's Guide to Fair Retail Prices' used to be issued every month. It listed every branded food product in the UK. It is now the Bible for researching the sort of sweets you could buy in March 1976, what they weighed and what their RRP was. Every shop would have a copy. This was decades before Google and the Net. So viable data on prices is likely to exist and be used by market research companies. Publishing data like that is their bread and butter.

quote: Grow your own food and you won't have to worry about this.

Self-sufficiency requires a surprising amount of space and you are unlikely to be producing your own mangoes, cocoa or coffee given the climate or processing requirements. That's why we need reliable, globalised supply chains so badly.

quote: Raising prices are good for the economy.

No, they just create poverty. And high interest rates simply allow the rich to get richer, sitting on their cash. Nobody else benefits.

quote: no one could ever agree upon what is "essential".

Yeah, they do, all over the world. Generally food products (sometimes excluding sweets/luxuries), baby stuff, prescription medicines/female sanitary products, educational stuff, and books/newspapers.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

As the yen’s yield curve just widened then how come gasoline hasn’t fallen in price?

Quick to go up, slow to fall…

1 ( +6 / -5 )

But hey, the government is pondering giving you a few extra thousand one time if you have a baby (just don't tell the kid he'll be born into ¥100M debt and will never be able to pay for everything his or her entire life).

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

End all sales tax on food.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

My Japanese friends and I compared each other's monthly groceries to see if either of us were over spending. I know for a fact I overspend each month and need to cut back, but the answers I got were shocking to say the least. 4 couples living together (2 person family) gave me these results: 25,000 yen/ 25,0000 yen/ 15,000 yen/ 10,000 yen. One couple literally goes to the grocery store once a month and buys their entire months grocery with 10,000 yen apparently, mostly consisting of putting natto in the freezer. Our house typically has a dinner that consists of rice depending on the case, main dish, a side dish, salad, and miso soup depending on the case. When we told them we spend 45,000 yen (including beers) a month, they all came back and said that having a side dish and salad is mottainai. I enjoy eating food, and it is something I kind of look forward to everyday. But hearing these results, eating seems like a chore for my friends, maybe that's why they are skinny. Perhaps it is the easiest expense to cut for families living here, too bad both couples tend to work during the day when supermarkets have their big sales.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Yeah, they do, all over the world. Generally food products (sometimes excluding sweets/luxuries), baby stuff, prescription medicines/female sanitary products, educational stuff, and books/newspapers.

Key words here, "all over the world". If you haven't noticed Japan doesnt follow along the rest of the world.

Dont hold your breath hoping they will too, it aint gonna happen!

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

One couple literally goes to the grocery store once a month...

This is the exception to the "rule".

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"As a rapid weakening of the yen against other major currencies, such as the U.S. dollar, sharply lift the costs for imported food and beverage products".

 

 

This excuse of the weak JPY to justify additional prices increase sis now totally ridiculous.

Since last massive price increases the JPY strengthened considerably (from 152 to 132).

It means that if anything prices should now be cut not increased. What is happening is that a lot of companies are taking advantage of the fog created by inflation to increase their margin a lot.

 It used to be taboo for companies in Japan to increase prices. Now that the damn has broken due to the irresponsible and incompetent policy of Kuroda it will be difficult to stop the inflation flood.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

I just stopped buying certain things. A pack of 5 slices of cheese is now 235 yen. That is insane. Forget cheese I will use cheap butter. Their price increases will force people to boycott

4 ( +6 / -2 )

My Japanese friends and I compared each other's monthly groceries to see if either of us were over spending. I know for a fact I overspend each month and need to cut back, but the answers I got were shocking to say the least. 4 couples living together (2 person family) gave me these results: 25,000 yen/ 25,0000 yen/ 15,000 yen/ 10,000 yen.

They must be all malnourished, living on rice. I spend around 80,000 yen a month on groceries just for myself.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

HEB was doing so much business, Friday,there transactions computer crash, bought a pork butt roast for five dollars

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Hermitage NadsToday  10:26 am JST

My Japanese friends and I compared each other's monthly groceries to see if either of us were over spending. I know for a fact I overspend each month and need to cut back, but the answers I got were shocking to say the least. 4 couples living together (2 person family) gave me these results: 25,000 yen/ 25,0000 yen/ 15,000 yen/ 10,000 yen.

They must be all malnourished, living on rice. I spend around 80,000 yen a month on groceries just for myself.

Japanese live and die with cup noodles.

-16 ( +6 / -22 )

This time a year ago 500grms of NZ butter cos ¥795 now 250grms of the same butter is ¥595! That more than inflation that's price fixing to protect a major domestic brand. M..

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I spend less than a 100 dollars on food a month,I eat good every day it includes meat

-17 ( +0 / -17 )

Maybe food can be shipped to Japan,by plane cheaply

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

SDCA

My Japanese friends and I compared each other's monthly groceries to see if either of us were overspending. I know for a fact I overspend each month and need to cut back, but the answers I got were shocking, to say the least. 

4 couples living together (2 personal family) gave me these results: 

*25,000 yen

*25,0000 yen

*15,000 yen

*10,000 yen.

How much are they spending eating out? Does that include lunch?

We are at home. 2-3 meals per day. 2 people. Groceries are about ¥80,000 and we are very careful spenders. Might manage ¥70,000.

One couple literally goes to the grocery store once a month and buys their entire months grocery with 10,000 yen apparently, mostly consisting of putting natto in the freezer

You cannot survive just on natto.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I try to keep the cost of meals to about ¥500 to ¥750 for the two of us. Three times per day. A little less on breakfast and lunch and a little more on dinner. We grow vegetables and we receive many from locals and friends. We eat many vegetables, salads, and some fruit every day. We spend about ¥70,000 per month on groceries per month and we shop wisely. Price down items.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@Wallace

I'm not sure how much they spend eating out normally, but when I eat out with some of them at say hamasushi, they tend to spend on the bottom end of 2,000 yen together. I think their lunch is covered by their own okozukai, but they did mention they don't eat out together much. Basically they buy everything that is cheap at the time and freeze them until they need to use them.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Shopping at Gyomu Super can help.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

And the government wonders why the low birth rate and spending behavior here. Look no further more.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

but the lines at Starbucks will continue....When they stop, then we know we have a problem

McDonald’s too.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

EastmanToday  11:52 am JST

wallace

family of 5 eating mostly at home,cooking mostly at home.average food cost some 80.000JPy a month or near.

rule no 1 never buy everything from same shop as prices are ofetn very different for same item at different places

rule no2 meat eggs veggies fruits buying locally,not supermarkets

rule no3 trying get well balanced food,minimize cans,frozen products.less chemicals and preservatives-better for body and body natural immunity.avoid any GMO food.

10.000JPY a month for couple a month is equal for surviving.

Fact number 1: Most people don't have the time after work to shop at different "places" especially since women are expected to work and do the housework and cooking.

Fact 2: Not sure what Buy Locally means because most people in Tokyo Osaka Nagoya etc live near LOCAL supermarkets. So we need to define Local. No point driving if the petrol prices cancel out any savings.

Fact 3 Easy to say minimize cans frozen food, but it depends. Frozen food is just as healthy as fresh. People don't have the time for this.

We were probably complaining about how prices were going down years ago or we weren't getting a wage rise, will I think the teachers from NOVA EEC are going to be in for a shock. Probably zero again, but they'll jack up the prices.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Eastman

wallace

family of 5 eating mostly at home, cooking mostly at home. average food costs some 80.000JPy a month or near.

5 people, 3 meals per day, 30 days per month. 450 meals. That would be ¥178 per meal. Something is missing from that data. (option+y gives the ¥ symbol). Our average cost per meal is ¥400.

rule no 1 never buy everything from same shop as prices are ofetn very different for same item at different places

We shop wisely across four stores. We have a very good co-op with very fresh produce including very good fish.

rule no2 meat eggs veggies fruits buying locally,not supermarkets

Mostly not possible where we live. Meat no. Eggs no. Veggies yes. Fruit sometimes. Fish always.

rule no3 trying get well balanced food,minimize cans,frozen products.less chemicals and preservatives-better for body and body natural immunity.avoid any GMO food.

We do not buy tinned or processed foods unless you are including miso, tofu, tamari, or dashi. We only buy a can of tomatoes for pasta. We eat a very balanced diet including homemade 100% whole wheat bread and brown rice, but the rice is only once or twice per week. My wife suffers from hives so we need to be very careful what we eat. Probably imported American soybeans are GMO and used in the miso and tamari.

10.000JPY a month for couple a month is equal for surviving.

¥50,000 might be possible eating little milk.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

SDCA

@Wallace

I'm not sure how much they spend eating out normally, but when I eat out with some of them at say hamasushi, they tend to spend on the bottom end of 2,000 yen together. I think their lunch is covered by their own okozukai, but they did mention they don't eat out together much. Basically they buy everything that is cheap at the time and freeze them until they need to use them.

We are at home 24/7 so we eat three meals per day here. Data on grocery spending needs to reflect people's lifestyles.

My family in New York spends almost nothing on groceries. Coffee, wine, beer, ice cream. Because they just need to walk into the streets to find places to eat.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Eastman

typo

¥50,000 might be possible eating little milk.

¥50,000 might be possible eating little meat.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

At home: skip breakfast. The twitter founder only ate 1 meal a day. I am starting that too.

At work: I go to the company cafeteria, and get a few bites from coworkers food.

Just say, like "hey that looks good, they dont have that in my home country and I never ate that before," and 9 out of 10 times, they offer a bite. Catching up with 8-10 people can make your stomach full, super easy on the wallet.

Dinner: Ask the coworkers who always stay the latest and get smashed to go to izakaya. Eat as much as you can in the first 30 minutes, then pretend to take a call from work superior, and say you have to do more work. Pay 1000 yen to coworker, and say use this for the bill, while muttering I only had 1 beer and a few gyoza. Quickly leave get out of their before everyone gets smashed and it ends up being 7000 a person because two guys got like 13 Lemon Sours each. They won't remember the food anyhow.

or just wait at supermarket until they close and deli food is 30%-50% off.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Eastman

sorry, your previous comment is confusing.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

if gov really wants to care abt people a bit with abolish VAT for basic daily needs and will tax high products purchased by a few.

That’s an “unfunded tax cut”.

A few folks purchasing high end products is not going to come anywhere near “paying” for that.

Taxing luxuries is a poor idea, if raising revenues is an objective. Everyone understands that tobacco tax reduces the incentive to smoke, and it is the same with any arbitrary product that people propose a tax be imposed on. Even if it is a luxury. Taxing luxuries at unfair rates just means those “luxuries” are less attractive to be consumed.

If the government cares about people, they shall stop the endless deficit spending and quit the price instability target of 2%.

A policy that will work for everyone is a good, quality policy. A policy that seeks to transfer the burden to some group of people is a terrible.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

 I know for a fact I overspend each month and need to cut back, but the answers I got were shocking to say the least. 4 couples living together (2 person family) gave me these results: 25,000 yen/ 25,0000 yen/ 15,000 yen/ 10,000 yen.

Hi SDCA. You probably don't overspend on food and shouldn't worry about the other people. Their totals do not include everything. I see incomplete total costs everywhere in Japan. Builders say houses cost 70 man a tsubo (3.3 sq m), However, this is only the "base fee" (hontai kakaku) and the actual cost of the complete house is at least 30% more. I see household budgets listed in the weekly shufu (housewife) magazines my MiL has in her coffee shop. They have entries like "Transport (kei car) 10,000 yen a month". It is impossible to run a car in Japan for that price. There is the cost of the car purchase, tyres, shaken, fuel, oil changes, insurance, maintenance when it breaks, etc. etc. It shouldn't be surprising, but someone who can't calculate the cost of owning a car will also be unlikely to accurately calculate their food bill. Many Japanese also have pathological desire to avoid others viewing them as wealthy. So they will downplay whatever spending they do or make showy pronouncements about trivial amounts of money ("Ooh Taro's little league baseball is so expensive! 4000 yen a month!"). That will be from someone with a 4 million yen brand new Toyota Vellfire with 50000 yen extra white pearl paint and however much on a sat nav. If you say "nice car!", they will say it is on a "lease" (i.e., 65,000 yen every month plus other payments at bonus time), as if they've bought it in some magic way that non-rich people can afford. I love Japan and Japanese people, but this is just one of their foibles.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

If you want to save money and meet many foreigners, Gyomu Super is the place to go.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Shopping at Gyomu Super can help.

Gyomu is a trend setter, but there needs to be companies like this. Make a brewery who under cuts the competition by 50% and you will crush it.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

If everyone boy cots the items, the price will come down.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Well look on the bright side, the LDP will hike taxes to buy more weapons.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Why are the +/- so polarizing?

Inflation in Japan is a fact.

Most part time jobs pay is about 1050 yen per hour. Currently on exchange about 8.00 American dollars.

Minimum wage in Marin County, Ca., has risen to 16.00 dollars per hour.

Costs are likely slightly higher in Marin, but the point is there is a living wage ordinance which calculates how much a worker needs to live to a certain comfort minimum. One doesn't have to be rich or over paid, but the lowest income people should be paid a fair amount to at least be able to get food and not live in poverty is the idea.

In this comparison, it is obvious Japan lacks a pragmatic look at lifestyle and happiness to live a minimal life. If people are truly paying out 15000 a month on food, that's pretty much 3rd world living. Not quite, as perhaps one can say if you really live in the 3rd world, you're lucky to spend 15000, but it is such a low relative amount of spending, one has to wonder what people eat. Natto. Oshinko. Rice. Miso soup with micro amounts of tofu or wakame. Flakes of salmon from a jar on Sundays?

I feel bad for anyone who thinks this is fine for a nation that until recently, was the second highest economy in the world. Lots of unnecessary spending leads to economic growth, but generally, people live very poor lives who are gaslit into thinking making more money on a minimum wage, and doing less work for it is a sin. It isn't nor should it be. Japan Inc. is a money society. Everything is about money as it's pretty much Japan's God. Too bad the yen is a cheap scam for the common people.

And either conform to it or be thrown out of society is the Japanese way.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@kohakuebisu

Thank you for the response. I feel better about my own spending now and am glad to hear I probably don't need to cut back.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If everyone boy cots the items

Where the second one’s a girl, the unisex variety offers more bang for the buck.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

An old Seria shop near home inKomakiclosed its doors, 100 yen business is under very serious problems with the Japanese currency weakening.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kishida, Kuroda, Kishi, Kono, and the rest of the new daimyo class are completely insulated from the real world and could not care less about the plight of the working masses.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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