While rising food prices are a global phenomenon, they are a particularly sensitive topic in Japan. In Japan, stagnant wages have made it difficult for Japanese households to afford rising prices for everything from burgers to beer. The yen’s fall to a 24-year low against the dollar also added to price pressures in the resource-starved archipelago. Japan relies heavily on imports for energy and food.
Calbee has raised prices several times this year due to poor potato harvests and rising material costs. To the dismay of potato chip lovers, the company also had to shrink the package size.
Calbee’s smaller rival, Koikeya, also announced price increases this month, with increases for its popular hot and sour line taking effect in September.