Free from dairy milk remained the most dynamic category in 2018 which is largely down to the limited presence of dairy in the traditional Japanese diet. Consumers are instead familiar with soy-based products, with soy milk often used in the cooking of some local dishes such as soy-based soups as well as being used in hot and cold drinks.
Free from baby food continued to struggle in 2018 due to the country’s falling birth rates. Despite this, HA milk formula was still able to record modest growth, with these products being given to babies which are at risk of allergies such as food allergies, hay fever and asthma.
Free from meat substitutes is the dominant free from category in Japan with tofu being a staple of the Japanese diet. Tofu is used in a variety of dishes including soup and noodle dishes and comes in a variety of formats including soft and hard.
Sagamiya Foods Co Ltd retained its lead in free from packaged food in 2018 with it seeing double-digit current value growth thanks to the increasing popularity of its free from meat substitutes range. The company is the most popular producer of tofu in Japan with it constantly introducing new products to complement its extensive line.
Kikkoman Inryo Co Ltd also saw strong current value growth in 2018 thanks to the growing popularity of its free from dairy milk, with it leading this category throughout the review period. Kikkoman produces a wide range of soy milk products with regular new innovations and new product development which has helped it to retain the interest of consumers.
With Japan’s economy seeing sluggish growth many consumers have become more price conscious and this resulted in private label seeing a further increase in its value share in 2018. Private label has a particularly strong value share in free from meat substitutes, with leading grocery retailers such as Daiei investing in their private label ranges.
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Overview: Discover the latest market trends and uncover sources of future market growth for the Food Intolerance industry in Japan with research from Euromonitor's team of in-country analysts.
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