Baked goods in Japan is expected to register slightly negative retail volume growth over the forecast period due to a negative impact of price hikes as well as less consumption of bread by young people. In 2018, major industry players Yamazaki Baking, Shikishima Baking and Fuji Baking raised prices of their popular brands due to steadily increasing production costs.
Within baked goods, healthier baked goods and harder bread are gaining in popularity, supported by a growing health and wellness trend and manufacturers’ efforts to create more demand. As the healthy-living trend remains strong amongst Japanese consumers, healthier bread, cakes and pastries, such as low-carbohydrate products using bran or soy instead of white flour, have experienced active new product development.
As well as healthier baked goods, leading players are actively launching harder bread such as baguettes and pain de campagne, mainly for dinner, in order to further expand demand. Consumers in Japan enjoy eating bread, mostly sweetened, as snacks, breakfast and lunch, but few people eat bread for dinner because rice has been a traditional source of carbohydrates in Japan for a long time, and there are limited product varieties in unsweetened harder bread, which goes well with dinner.
Yamazaki continues to lead baked goods in Japan, supported by the company’s long history and strong distribution network, including the company’s own convenience stores, Daily Yamazaki. During the review period, the company benefited from the strong performance of its harder bread, Sio-butter France, or salty butter baguette, as well as the long-standing presence of its brands.
Shikishima remains the second strongest player in baked goods in Japan thanks to its powerful brand Choujyuku, which was one of the leading brands in packaged leavened breads in 2018. During the review period, celebrating the 20th anniversary of Choujyuku, the company renewed the brand to further enhance its soft and smooth texture, and conducted a promotional campaign, actively promoting the brand not only in store fronts but also on TV commercials and through social media.
As well as Yamazaki and other industry players, Shikishima is also focusing on developing healthier baked goods and harder bread. For example, it expanded the product lines of its low-carbohydrate baked goods, which have successfully attracted consumers who are keen to reduce their carbohydrate intake.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.