Christmas Cake Prices Rise by 7.8% in Japan

Christmas Cakes in Japan See Record High Prices in 2023

The Rising Cost of Christmas Cakes

This year, the average price of whole Christmas cakes in Japan has increased by 7.8% from last year, with costs surging for almost all major ingredients, according to a survey by Teikoku Databank Ltd. The survey revealed that prices of Christmas cakes measuring 15 centimeters in diameter averaged at ¥4,468.

One of the factors behind the price increase is the post-pandemic demand recovery, as stated by the private research firm. The rise in prices for these holiday desserts is also attributed to the higher costs of ingredients such as milk, sugar, butter, and strawberries, all of which have seen significant price increases from the previous year.

Effect of Pandemic Demand Recovery

According to the survey, Christmas cakes sold under the original brands of 100 firms found that 81 firms had raised their prices. 20 of them increased prices by at least ¥500, with a focus on products sold at department stores for approximately ¥4,000-¥6,000. However, markups do not exceed ¥300 for many cakes sold at large-scale retailers such as superstores, for ¥3,000-¥3,999.

Impact of Ingredient Price Increases

The sharp increase in egg prices, with a jump of 29% due to the impact of the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza last year, has also contributed to the rising costs of Christmas cakes. These increases have led to a 13.4% jump from the average Christmas cake price of ¥3,939 in 2021, when food prices were still relatively stable.

Consumers’ Reaction

Given the substantial price hikes, a Teikoku Databank official has suggested the possibility of consumers shunning high-priced cakes this Christmas season. The official mentioned that consumers “may not accept substantial price hikes,” hinting at the potential impact on sales of Christmas cakes due to the rising costs.

Christmas Cake Prices Rise by 7.8% in Japan
REUTERS/Yuya Shino
A man dressed as Santa Claus promotes Christmas cakes to pedestrians outside a pastry store at Tokyo’s Ginza shopping street December 25, 2014.

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