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Prices are going up and plastic bottles will make Japanese people less interested in Beaujolais Nouveau.

Tokyo (Reuters) – This year, it’s unlikely that Japanese people who like Beaujolais Nouveau wine will be as excited as they were last year. This is because importers have raised prices, drastically cut their product lines, and may even switch to plastic bottles soon to deal with rising costs.

In the latest sign of inflationary pressures, Japanese beverage giant Kirin Holdings Co. said it will switch to PET bottles and only sell two products this year instead of its usual ten. This is because production and shipping costs are going up because of sky-high fuel prices.

The suggested retail price for a 750 ml bottle of Kirin will also go up by more than double from last year, to $4,310 (about $32).

Suntory Holdings, a competitor, is raising the price of its main Beaujolais wine by about 40%, to 3,500 yen, and cutting the number of products it sells from 15 last year to just three this year.

Japan, which imports more wine than any other country, is very excited for the fruity red wine from France’s Beaujolais region to come out in the fall.

Industry group Inter Beaujolais says that in 2020, Japan will import about 320,000 cases, which is about 3.8 million bottles. This is almost half of the region’s exports.

After decades of deflation, consumer prices are going up in Japan. This is because the yen has dropped sharply to a 20-year low, energy prices are going up, and the war in Ukraine is making it hard to get things done.

($1 = 135.6800 yen)

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