Yes, that’s “to 35 yen” not “by 35 yen.”

Most people agree that among candy in Japan, Black Thunder is one of the best. Even though tiny compared to other chocolate bars, they are so delicious and well-crafted that they’re still oddly satisfying. They were even the snack of choice of the late Shinzo Abe during his time as Prime Minister.

▼ One of the many photos that can be found of Abe holding a Black Thunder

The fact that they generally sell for around 30 yen (US$0.23) makes them way more delicious than they have any business being and an excellent choice when you only have a few coins in your pocket or when you’re looking to buy a bunch of Valentine’s Day obligation chocolate without busting your budget.

Even as prices in Japan have been steadily climbing like for the rest of the world, Black Thunder has tenaciously held on to its 30-yen price point. But there’s only so much they can withstand, and on 17 January the makers at Yuraku Confectionery announced that a price hike is in the works.

According to the company, measures have been taken at cost cutting inside the company to maintain the prices but rising ingredient and transportation costs have been outpacing their efforts. As a result, their flagship Black Thunder bar will see an increase from 30 yen to 35 yen ($0.27) starting 20 March.

▼ It is yet unknown how this will affect Daiso’s popular four Black Thunders for 100 yen ($0.76) deal

Actually, that’s a worst-case scenario, as Yuraku said that prices on their four standard flavors of Black Thunder will experience a hike of 8.3 to 16.7 percent, which means the increase will be in the neighborhood of two to five yen ($0.01 – $0.04). Black Thunder spin-offs such as Big Thunder and regional flavors like Hokkaido’s oxymoronic White Black Thunder will see similar price increases while products such as Bite-sized Black Thunder and Black Thunder Mini-bars will have their sizes reduced by 10 to 15 grams (0.35 – 0.53 ounces).

▼ Aside from being really really good, the Black Thunders with bits of salty Kaki no Tane rice crackers are considered a standard flavor and will undergo the same price hike as the regular chocolate

Granted it’s not the worst price increase we’ve had to put up with, but Black Thunder not being able to keep up with rising costs is a very troubling sign. Readers of the news online were having trouble coming to grips with it as well.

“In the end, Black Thunder too…”
“I’m stocking up now.”
“Oh my god… That was the only joy I had left.”
“We are witnessing the sinking of Japan in real time.”
“I noticed that the 100 yen shops didn’t have as many in stock and got a bad feeling.”
“How about making it a little bigger and selling it for 50 yen?”
“Thanks a lot, Prime Minister Kishida.”
“That’s too much. I’m not buying it ever again.”
“The last bastion has been breached.”

Indeed, in Japan the mighty triumvirate of incredibly cheap snacks is Black Thunder, Umaibo puffed corn sticks, and Garigari-kun ice bars. Umaibo capitulated last year, begrudgingly raising their price from 10 yen to 12 yen ($0.08 – $0.09). Garigari-kun raised the price of an individual bar from 60 yen to 70 yen ($0.46 – $0.53) back in 2016 so it’s difficult to say if that gave them enough wiggle room to endure the current economic situation without having to raise prices for a second time in their 42-year history.

It’s certainly dark times for candy-lovers, but as they say it’s always Blackest before the Thunder. Hopefully, this too will pass and Black Thunder can continue to be regarded as the ultra-cheap delicacy it is.

Source: Yuraku Confectionary, Shokuhin Shimbun, Hachima Kiko
Photos ©SoraNews24
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