[July Price Revisions] Suntory “Kakubin” and 4 other brands raised prices

It is still fresh in our minds that the price of Suntory’s overseas whisky was raised on March 1, and now it has been announced that four domestic whisky brands including Suntory’s “Kakubin“will increase their prices starting with shipments on July 1.

1. Date of implementation

Price revision effective from shipments on July 1, 2023 (Saturday)

2. Background

Suntory has indicated the following points as the background of the price revision.

  • Cost increases in raw materials, materials, transportation costs, etc.
  • Expansion of storage facilities to ensure a more stable supply

In recent years, as the whisky market has continued to expand both domestically and internationally, Suntory has made various corporate efforts to provide a stable supply of high-quality products, such as by improving productivity, streamlining logistics, and aggressively investing in facilities to increase production equipment.
 However, it has become extremely difficult to absorb the impact of recent cost increases in raw materials, materials, and transportation costs through corporate efforts alone. In addition, as part of our efforts to provide more stable supply, we are adding a new storage facility. For this reason, we have decided to implement a price revision.

(Reference: Price revision of some domestic whisky products)

3. Target brands

The following four brands are subject to the price revision

  • Kakubin
  • Old
  • Special Reserve
  • Royal

4. Main products and prices

4-1. Suntory Whisky, Kakubin 700ml/bottle

〇Suggested retail price

Old price 1,590 yen (excluding tax)
New price 1,910 yen (excluding tax)
Price revision rate 20%
created by Rinker
¥52,800 (2023/06/08 00:32:32時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)

4-2. Suntory Old 700ml/bottle

〇Suggested retail price

Old price 1,880 yen (excluding tax)
New price 2,250 yen (tax not included)
Price revision rate 20%
created by Rinker
¥2,080 (2023/06/08 14:32:54時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)

4-3. Suntory Special Reserve 700ml/bottle

〇Suggested retail price

Old price 2,580 yen (excluding tax)
New price 3,000 yen (tax not included)
Price revision rate 16%

4-4. Suntory Royal 700ml/bottle

〇Suggested retail price

Old price 3,360 yen (excluding tax)
New price 3,900 yen (excluding tax)
Price revision rate 16%
created by Rinker
¥3,422 (2023/06/08 14:32:55時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)

5. Impact and future projections

Last April 2022, Yamazaki, Hakushu, and Hibiki had their prices revised ahead of Kakubin and the other four brands. At that time, it was also announced that the price revision was “in order to strengthen efforts to ensure a stable supply, such as by increasing production facilities.”

5-1. Impact on households and the restaurant industry

We had predicted that this day would come for the four main brands, but it has finally arrived. Kakubin and Suntory Old are the most commonly consumed Suntory whiskies, and are most commonly sold at Izakaya (Japanese style pubs) and chain restaurants. This price hike will not only affect household budgets, but will also have a major impact on the entire restaurant industry.

I believe that the price of “Kaku highball,” which everyone drinks at restaurants on a daily basis, will be raised one after another from July onward.

And what is predicted as a result of the Kakubin price increase is a price revision of the “Kaku highball can” sold at convenience stores and supermarkets. We do not know when this will happen, but we should be prepared for a price increase of Suntory’s highball cans as well.

5-2. Japanese Whisky Prices in the World

Looking at recent trends in the whisky market, in addition to the soaring production costs of raw materials, materials, and transportation costs, demand for whisky is rising around the world, and Japanese whisky exports to other countries are continuing to rise.

In the midst of the global whisky boom, the price of whisky in Japan is still low compared to overseas.

5-3. Price hikes are predicted to continue

As demand for whisky is increasing around the world, it is likely that the trend of whisky price increases will continue for some time in Japan, and it is highly likely that price revisions will continue to be implemented in stages.

The fact that Suntory, the largest whisky maker in Japan, has decided to raise its prices this time makes it easier for other whisky makers to make price revisions.

As a consumer who loves to drink whisky, I am disappointed, but I am happy to see that the price of Japanese whisky is growing along with its value, and I will continue to watch the trend closely.

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