From beef bowls to coffee, soaring costs put pressure on Japanese office workers

Shizuo Mori, the owner of the Heckeln Coffee Shop, brews coffee in a siphon coffee maker at his shop in Tokyo on October 8, 2021, and then pour the coffee into the cup. REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon

October 14, 2021

Daniel Roythink and Reika Kihara

Tokyo (Reuters) – Shizuo Mori can’t remember how much it cost to supply coffee during the 50 years of running a cafe in Tokyo.

A 78-year-old woman who runs Heckeln, an old-fashioned coffee shop in Tokyo’s Toranomon business district, says wholesale costs for his flagship product have skyrocketed by 5% in the last three months.

This is a shocking experience for a country where low growth means that the prices of many things, including wages, have not risen much in decades.

The price of coffee in a cramped store is 400 yen ($ 3.50) per cup, which hasn’t yet told customers about the increase, but price pressures are squeezing his earnings and patrons are hiking like that. I know that it is less resistant to.

“Salarymen don’t get much salary, so when the price goes up, everyone stops drinking,” says Mori, famous for caramel sauce pudding, buttered toast slabs, and ham and egg sandwiches. Told.

Throughout Japan, consumers and businesses like Heckeln are facing sticker shocks on everything from coffee, beef bowls and other things that have barely risen in price during decades of deflation.

Japan’s major consumer inflation, excluding fresh food prices, stopped in August, followed by 12 months of deflation. Economists and policy makers hope that recent price increases will be reflected in official data in the coming months.

Japan’s inflation is still modest by global standards, but raw material costs soar 12 It was almost impossible for companies in the world’s third-largest economy to take over the wholesale price hike. This is usually resistance for fear of losing business.

It’s a rude surprise to young Japanese, especially to many who don’t remember a big price increase, as households, workers and businesses struggle to shake off the economic blow of a pandemic.

“It’s terrible-income hasn’t changed. Taxes are rising. People are getting poorer and poorer,” he said. Yuka Urakawa (23), who works in the beauty industry and went to a noodle dinner near Yurakucho Station in Tokyo.

Like many on social media, she noticed changes in beef bowl prices in restaurant chains like Matsuya Foods.

Matsuya stopped selling “premium” beef bowls for 380 yen at most stores, and began offering regular bowls using cheap ingredients such as frozen beef and green onions at the same price.

Dairy maker Meiji Holdings raised the price of margarine by 12.8% for the first time since 2008, and other food companies also raised the price of their major products for the first time in years.

Not necessarily welcomed by consumers, this trend may be beginning to tweak how Japanese perceive the price they pay for staples https://www.reuters. com / world / asia-pacific / more-japan-households-see-higher-Year of Inflation-Now-boj-survey-2021-10-11.

Nozomi Yuasa, 28, who had dinner near Yurakucho Station and noticed the rise in prices of eggs, dairy products, and candy, said, “The price in Japan seems to be too long and too cheap compared to other countries.” rice field.

This month’s Bank of Japan’s quarterly “Short View” business survey showed that more companies are facing higher input costs, but the prices they charge their customers are also rising.

Restoring stagnant consumer prices has been the central bank’s main goal for many years, but its strategy was to do so by agitating demand. On the other hand, inflation caused by supply constraints is unwelcome, especially if it does not coincide with rising wages.

Some companies are aware of their sensitivity to household price increases and are cautious about it. Aeon Co., Ltd., which boasts the largest sales in Japan, said that it is aiming for a low price including bulk purchase without raising the price of about 3000 TOPVALU products of its own brand this year.

“The coronavirus has delayed the recovery of demand in Japan,” said Hiroaki Muto, an economist at Sumitomo Life Insurance Company.

“When prices go up, demand goes down.”

($ 1 = 113.4900 yen)

(Report by Daniel Leussink and Leika Kihara, edited by Sam Holmes)

From beef bowls to coffee, soaring costs put pressure on Japanese office workers

Source link From beef bowls to coffee, soaring costs put pressure on Japanese office workers

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