Receptivity To Market Trends Holds The Key To The Troubled Japanese Confectionery Sector

Date: 08-Jul-2013
Weak economic growth and squeezed disposable income makes Japan’s Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) markets one of the lowest growth markets in the region – factors that are exacerbated by the country’s aging population, which has contributed to a stagnant confectionery market. However, higher consumer expenditure and mild inflation is expected to boost demand for consumer goods in Japan in 2013, according to leading consumer specialist Canadean’s new report: Market Trends and Developments in the Confectionery Sector in Japan.


Key Market Trends

In order to capitalize on this opportunity for growth in a challenging market, Confectionery providers must be reactive to key market trends:


Luxury Consumption

Like the mature markets in the US and Western Europe, Luxury Chocolate is a fast growing segment in Japan: consumers are choosing to buy a smaller number of expensive but high quality chocolates rather than conventional bars and countlines. Their motivations range from gifting or special occasions, or simply the desire for a luxurious treat. Indeed, this demand for luxury chocolate has even seen premium brands focus on the development of high-end flagship stores and lavish product launches.


Health & Wellness


The functional benefits of Confectionery products are a growing driver in the overall market, which includes Food For Specified Health Use (FOSHU) items, which have been approved by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare. For the Confectionery sector, the functional Gum segment offers the most significant opportunities, with chewing gums containing xylitol – which helps prevent tooth decay – being particularly popular in Japan. Indeed, sales of sugar-free gum have grown strongly in Japan, even whilst sales of conventional sugar gum have stagnated.


Fragmented Tastes


Confectionery items in Japan are often closely targeted to suit the taste and preference of specific consumer groups, either by:


  • Age

  • Geography

  • Income Level

  • Propensity to seek indulgent or new experiences


This translates to a high number of new product launches, with exotic flavors and different pack sizes and value propositions, such as Nestle’s Matcha Green Tea KitKat, which offer white chocolate covered with a green colored layer that is made with matcha green tea.


This variety of product is replicated in marketing activities, with use of popular TV shows and social media vital to reaching the target audience.


Comprehensive Table of Contents and more on the report @