The Japan chocolate market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.5% over the forecast period (2020 - 2025).
- High cacao chocolate played a significant role in the expansion of chocolate confectionery in Japan due to the widespread and prominent publicity across various media in Japan regarding the health benefits of cacao including helping to reduce blood pressure and to prevent arteriosclerosis, obesity, and cancer, as well as minimizing levels of stress and the effects of allergies and rheumatism.
- Furthermore, with government policy and employer initiatives driving an increase in the number of women in the paid workforce in an effort to address the country’s labor shortage, female consumers are spending their increased purchasing power on premium chocolate treats to reward themselves for their hard work.
Key Market Trends
Rising Demand for Premium Chocolate
The demand for premium chocolates across Japan is likely to be driven by tastes and source of origin, as consumers prefer paying a hefty amount for artisan products. Consumers seeking out in devouring premium chocolates are more likely to demand greater transparency from the product, as considerations, such as authenticity, are some of the prime factors that are likely to boost the consumption of premium chocolates. Over the past decade, the Japanese consumers were paying double the global average for premium chocolates. The demand is expected to be driven by the concept of “bean-to-bar”, where consumers are expected to consider premium chocolate as a part of luxury rather than a generic food item. For instance, Meiji Holdings Co., a Japanese domestic manufacturer, which was started in 2014 with the so-called bean-to-bar lines, derived from cocoa procured from Brazil and Venezuela. Meiji Holdings’ namesake milk chocolates sell in supermarkets for about YEN 2,200 per kilogram. Also, in 2017, Meiji Holding Co. decided to buy more cocoa beans from Latin America to increase the output of its premium chocolate products after experiencing increased sales of its premium, the Chocolate brand.
Supermarket/Hypermarket is the Most Preferred Distribution Channel
The hypermarkets/supermarkets segment of the market accounts for a considerable share in the chocolate sales, with dark chocolates, chocolate bars, multipacks, and boxed chocolates being the most popular choice among the consumers. With the wider shelf space and greater product exhibition, players are expanding their product availability in various supermarket chains. The factors, such as business expansion and rising number of hypermarkets and supermarkets, add to the sales of these retail formats and significantly contribute to the high penetration into the chocolate market. Shopping at the hypermarkets/supermarkets is also perceived useful due to the frequent price promotions and the global players and regional players adopt unique strategies to launch their products in these stores, so as to increase their consumer base through the target market.
Japan Chocolate Market is consolidated due to the major players having majority of the market share. Some of the leading players in the Japan chocolate market are Nestle SA, Meiji Holdings Co., Ltd., Morinaga & Company, Ltd., Lindt & Sprüngli AG, and Lotte Corporation among others. The major players in the market are adopting product innovation as their major strategy to attract consumers. Owing to the changing tastes and preferences of consumers, there have been considerable developments of products by various market players.
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