There was a time when the only product that seemed immune to inflation was whisk(e)y. Unfortunately, that time has passed, as Japanese drinks giant Suntory just announced an extensive price increase for 19 of its brands.
Per Japan Today (h/t Fred Minnick), Suntory will be raising prices on multiple whiskies across five sub-brands, with the smallest increase at 20%. In other cases, the price of the bottle will more than double.
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The company suggests that increasing demand for Japanese whisky domestically and internationally is a big reason for the price increase, along with the lack of a quick way to increase production (because whisky takes time). Suntory also says it’s making improvements to the Yamazaki and Hakushu distilleries to improve production. Reporter Casey Baseel adds that the reduced value of the yen might be affecting the price of any imported ingredients.
Price increases will take effect starting April 1, 2024. While the announcement is centered around the domestic pricing of these Hibiki, Yamazaki and Hakushu bottles, the price adjustments will almost certainly be implemented worldwide.
So, what to do? Well, there’s still time to get bottles at slightly friendlier prices. This also might be an opportunity to try smaller Japanese whisky brands.
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