In 2020, driven by COVID-19, products which are popular with office workers such as smaller packs of chocolate pouches and bags and countlines recorded a sharp decline in sales as employees switched to home working arrangements. Chocolate confectionery in general has experienced a shift to larger pack sizes in the wake of COVID-19.
In 2020, while maintaining its leading position in chocolate confectionery in Japan, Meiji suffered from a drop in sales of products commonly consumed away from home. For example, its Galbo brand is one of the most popular chocolate confectionery products bought by office workers.
Lotte continues to offer various products in chocolate confectionery in Japan, delivering both mass and premium concepts in 2021. In terms of mass brands, the company is focusing on delivering a more premium image for its Ghana brand, as well as expanding the customer base for its chocolate confectionery products with alcohol, including long-selling brands Rummy and Bacchus.
Premium chocolate confectionery is going through a difficult time in Japan. For brands gaining significant traction in February each year because of the unique culture of St Valentines’ Day in Japan, keeping the tradition of 14 February is important.
In Japan, product lifecycles for food and drink products are noticeably short. In some categories such as potato chips, ready meals, pastries and chilled desserts, new flavours appear frequently, and the shelf space of convenience stores are usually filled with new products on a weekly basis.
After Nestlé Japan became the first major snacks manufacturer in Japan to change from plastic packaging to paper packaging in summer 2019, Japanese consumers, retailers and manufacturers all started to pay more attention to issues of sustainability. While not many players within chocolate confectionery are following the packaging shift from plastic to paper, many players have listed sustainability as a key part of their business strategies.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Chocolate Confectionery industry in Japan with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Chocolate Confectionery research and analysis database.
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