Several major Japanese beverage makers planning to raise prices of beverages sold in vending machines beginning in April when nation's sales tax is raised from 5% to 8%

TOKYO , March 3, 2014 () – Major Japanese beverage makers said Monday they will increase the prices of beverages sold in vending machines in April when the sales tax is raised.

Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd., the soft drink unit of the Suntory group, said it will increase prices for many of its drinks sold in vending machines by 10 yen from April 1.

The sales tax rate will be raised to 8 percent from the current 5 percent.

Asahi Soft Drinks Co. and Dydo Drinco Inc., a major seller of vending machine canned coffee, also announced their plans to raise beverage prices.

The Coca-Cola (Japan) Co. group said last week it will raise the prices of its canned drinks including cola and coffee sold in vending machines by 10 yen to 130 yen due to the tax hike.

Suntory Beverage & Food said it will increase the price of its Iyemon green tea brand that comes in 500-milliliter PET bottles from 150 yen to 160 yen while its Boss coffee in 185-gram cans will be priced at 130 yen, up from 120 yen.

Suntory's mineral water will remain unchanged at 110 yen.

Asahi Soft Drinks, a unit of the Asahi group, will raise the prices of most of its beverages other than bottled mineral water by 10 yen starting April.

Tomiya Takamatsu, vice president of Dydo Drinco, said it is "basically considering a price hike of 10 yen" but did not elaborate.

Dydo Drinco will either retain prices or change drink volumes for some products, Takamatsu said.

Kirin Beverage Co. is also planning to increase the prices of its Gogo no Kocha (Afternoon Tea) and Fire canned coffee by 10 yen.

(c) 2014 Kyodo News International, Inc.

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