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Yoshinoya slashes beef bowl prices

Kyodo

Yoshinoya Holdings Co. on Thursday cut prices for its mainstay “gyudon” beef-on-rice bowls to take advantage of eased restrictions on beef imports from the United States.

The relaxation of strict import curbs in February is allowing the stable procurement of cheaper beef suitable for gyudon, the company said.

Yoshinoya slashed beef bowl prices by ¥100 to match its two biggest rivals — Zensho Holdings Co.’s Sukiya chain and Matsuya Foods Co. — which are currently charging ¥280 for a standard bowl.

The price of a large bowl dropped by ¥40 to ¥440, while the extra large bowl fell by ¥90 to ¥540. The price cuts are expected to produce about 30 percent more customers and a 15 to 20 percent boost in sales, the firm said.

Prices for other ingredients, however, are starting to rise, thanks to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “Abenomics” policies. Players in the fast-food industry say that lower gyudon prices are the key to winning market share.