The performance of air treatment products is very sensitive to weather conditions, especially levels of heat and humidity. Japan experienced a very hot summer in 2018, which encouraged many consumers to replace their existing split air conditioners and add such appliances to many rooms to maintain a comfortable environment.
In a number of consumer appliances categories in Japan, saturated demand and the rapidity with which competitors mirror developments make it difficult to stand out. In split air conditioners, in which the household penetration rate exceeds 90%, some manufacturers are focusing on product design and aesthetics to differentiate products.
The increasing participation of women in full-time employment, supported by government initiatives to tackle a declining workforce as baby boomers retire, is having a marked impact on consumer lifestyles. Dehumidifiers were previously used mainly during the rainy season, but changes in consumer lifestyles is leading to the year-round use of dehumidifiers to dry clothes indoors.
Panasonic retained the lead in air treatment products in 2018. The company has a strong presence across all air treatment categories with the exception of window air conditioners.
Balmuda was the fastest-growing player in air treatment products in Japan in 2018, as it benefited from the rapid expansion of its eponymous brand in the cooling category. Indeed, Balmuda saw year-on-year growth of above 20% throughout the review period as its innovative focus on the aesthetics of product design helped it to benefit from the trend towards Japanese consumers using cooling products in tandem with split air conditioners in order to save on energy bills.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Appliances market research database.