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Japan's popular Cocoa Cigarette candy faces first price hike in 32 yrs

Orion Co.'s Cocoa Cigarette candy is pictured in Osaka. (Mainichi/Satoko Suizu)

OSAKA -- Japanese confectionary manufacturer Orion Co. is set to increase the price of its long-selling Cocoa Cigarette candy by 10 yen, to 40 yen a box (or about 31 cents) starting from February shipments -- the product's first price hike in 32 years.

    Successive generations of Orion Co.'s Cocoa Cigarette candy, from older to newer, left to right, are pictured in Osaka. (Mainichi/Satoko Suizu)

    The company said the increase was due to soaring raw material costs. It is the first time since 1991 for the price of the candy to go up.

    Cocoa Cigarette candies debuted in 1951. They came in a navy blue packet featuring a picture of three cigarettes. The sugary sweets are made with cocoa with a hint of mint. They have been loved by children and adults alike, with people often holding them like cigarettes and pretending to "smoke" them. As of 2022, some 22 million units had been sold.

    (Japanese original by Satoko Suizu, Osaka Editorial Production Center)

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