When businesses in the United States raise their prices they will often try to do it quietly. Or if they do make an announcement, they just blame government regulations and red tape for the higher costs. In Japan an ice cream maker is going in a decidedly different direction after deciding to raise its prices.
Akagi Nyugyo Co. has made popsicles in Japan in since 1981 and is known (and beloved) for odd flavors like “energy drink,” “corn soup” and “cream stew.”And since 1991 those popsicles have cost 60 yen—about 55 cents. Now though, those same popsicles will cost 70 yen. A nine cent increase in the cost of a popsicle may not seem like that big of a deal, but because it is the first time the company has raised their prices in a quarter century, it is taking the news very seriously. Company executives recorded this 60-second television spot to apologize to the people of Japan for raising prices. Backed by a folk song whose name translates to “price hike” or “price increase,” the staff stands and then bows as text comes on the screen reading, “We held out for 25 years”—I have to note here that I’m relying on translations from Google and Kotaku, whose Japanese is much better than mine. Still though, it’s nice to see a company appearing to take responsibility for raising its prices. As Japanese paper Mainichi points out, the reasons for the price increase are likely higher prices for raw materials and labor.
It’s not all bowed heads at Akagi Nyugyo though, the most recent video the company put up on its YouTube page is quite a bit peppier. Good to see their mascot Crunchy Crunchy Boy rebounding so quickly.