Department stores to offer larger 'osechi' sets

The New Year's period is four months away. But Japan's department stores will soon take orders for seasonal foods called "osechi."

They predict that holiday gatherings will be larger than before, due to a lifting of pandemic restrictions. So, they will expand their larger-sized sets.

Takashimaya will raise its limit on osechi products for three or more people by 10 percent.

The chain is also planning on more selection than a year earlier. One new product will allow customers to choose 12 items per box from 30 dishes.
Japanese, Western and Chinese cuisines will be on offer. One selection features a board game.

Daimaru Matsuzakaya will be promoting regional specialties. These will include a dish called "soup curry," from the northern island of Hokkaido. Another will feature a variety of beef.

The chain says it's aiming to increase sales by 16 percent from the last holiday period.

But soaring costs of ingredients are proving a headache for the department stores. They say they have raised their retail prices by around 5 to 15 percent from the previous holiday season.