This Japanese company offered an apology you’d never find in America after raising prices by 9 cents

Akagi Nyugyo

Usually, companies publicly try to justify increasing the price of bargain items — you didn’t see McDonald’s apologizing for killing the Dollar Menu, for example. However, this Japanese frozen dessert maker is taking a different approach.

Akagi Nyugyo released a somber 60-second commercial to apologise for raising prices on its Garigari-kun popsicles from 60 to 70 yen, the equivalent of just nine American cents, reports Quartz.

This is the first time since 1991 the company has raised prices on its popular popsicles, known for their mix of traditional flavours like soda and grapefruit, as well as more unusual options, like spaghetti, white stew, and corn potage (a creamy corn soup).

In the ad, chairman Hideki Inoue, president Inoue Sota, and a host of other company officers stand solemnly in front of their headquarters. The words “We held on for 25 years but… 60→70” appear on the screen, as the executives bow in apology.

The commercial was aired nationwide in Japan the day the price hike went into effect on April 1. After one week, ad had already been viewed more than one million times on YouTube. 

Garigari-kun’s price hike was rooted in Japan’s effort to generate inflation and kickstart the country’s sluggish economy.

Akagi Nyugyo sells more than 4 billion ice treats every year. While the price increase of nine cents doesn’t seem like much to consumers, raising the cost of the popsicle by 16% could mean a major boost in revenue at the company.

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