Drinking at home continued to hit traditional izakaya restaurants. Consumers leading busy modern lifestyles and senior citizens are increasingly finding it preferable to buy foods/drinks and take them home instead of consuming them in consumer foodservice outlets.
Chained cafés and specialist coffee shops put in stronger performances than bars/pubs at the end of the review period. Elderly people and the younger generation are both more likely to gather at cafés than izakaya.
In common with many areas of consumer foodservice in Japan, cafés/bars are being impacted by labour shortages. The shortfall in labour supply is linked to the ageing of the population and a restrictive government approach to immigration, while an improvement in the economy towards the end of the review period resulted in growing competition for the workers available.
Starbucks rose from second place to gain the leading position in cafés/bars in 2018, overtaking Monteroza. The company’s growth was driven by ongoing expansion of its store network and the frequent introduction of seasonally limited drinks, which went down well with Japanese consumers.
While it dropped to second in overall cafés/bars, Monteroza remained the leading izakaya chain in 2018. The company continued to close unprofitable outlets under brands such as Uotami, Shirokiya and Warawara.
Increased competition from rival foodservice formats is another major issue for izakaya brands. For example, fast food chains such as Yoshinoya and full-service chains such as Hidayaka have been providing small servings of alcoholic drinks targeting consumers looking for a quick dinner and drink after work.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Foodservice market research database.