Post by Stefan Van Eycken, Tokyo
Yesterday, Suntory officially confirmed rumours that had been circulating for a while, i.e. that it would raise prices for 6 of its major brands (Hibiki, Yamazaki, Hakushu, Macallan, Balvenie and Laphroaig).
The price hikes will affect 39 expressions – across the aforementioned 6 brands (constituting 8% of Suntory Liquor’s total sales). Cheap whiskies, like Torys or the iconic Kakubin, will not be affected.
The last time Suntory raised prices for its domestic whiskies was in September 2008 (a less dramatic increase than this time round). Since then, the cost of raw materials (barley and corn) has gone up with 60-70%, according to Suntory, and this has made the price increases inevitable.
The prices of Suntory’s domestic whiskies will be raised by 20-25%. The three Scotch brands in its portfolio will see a price increase between 17 and 25% - also because of increased demand for these brands in new markets worldwide.
The graph below shows the actual price difference for the major expressions (prices without tax):