In December 2023, the price increase was most significant in the “seasonings” category, including sauce products, with a total of 505 items, marking the highest number across all food sectors. In the “Dairy products” category, comprising 167 items, the price hike was primarily driven by the impact of milk pricing adjustments, focusing on increases in butter and cream products. It ranked as the third-highest in the year, following increases in April and August.

According to officials from major dairy industry companies, the domestic dairy farming environment is facing a challenging situation due to the rapid increase in production costs caused by the impact of international price hikes in grains, energy, and other factors, as well as the depreciation of the yen. The situation remains difficult as production costs have remained high. Additionally, packaging materials, logistics costs, and labor expenses have all risen, and the costs associated with energy have also remained high. They explain that, in order to safeguard the dairy farming production infrastructure and ensure a stable supply of domestic milk and dairy products, price increases are unavoidable.

The prolonged high costs of energy appear to be taking on a long-term nature, forcing those involved in dairy farming to make decisions with a long-term perspective. The unpredictable nature of future price increases may continue to create a situation where immediate predictions are challenging.