Japan Data

Japan’s Valentine Chocolate Buyers Face Bitter Price Hikes

Culture Food and Drink

The period around Valentine’s Day in Japan is usually a big time for chocolate sales, but inflation is sending prices soaring.

A comparison by Teikoku Databank of luxury Valentine chocolates on sale at department stores, shopping malls, and other outlets found that 80 of 135 brands had increased their prices in 2023 from the previous year. A rise of around 7% meant that the average price per individual piece of chocolate was ¥390. The average price for chocolates produced in Japan was up ¥18 to ¥355, while that for imported chocolates was up ¥33 to ¥433.

In addition to climbing costs for cacao beans, which are chocolate’s main ingredient, sugar, milk, and boxes and other packaging are all becoming more expensive, forcing companies to hike their own prices. The weak yen has also affected the cost of imported brands.

Meanwhile, consumers feeling increased pressure to pay for essentials are more reluctant to splash out on luxury items like chocolate. This has led many brands to reduce the number of items in each package or make the pieces smaller in an attempt to maintain reasonable prices.

Average Valentine Chocolate Prices

Increases in Valentine Chocolate Prices per Item

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

Valentine’s Day chocolate inflation