Ice cream continued to see growth in current value and retail volume terms in 2020, with the category seeing record sales in Japan. This was the result of a result long-term effort by ice cream manufacturers in Japan to expand the consumer base and consumption occasions for these products.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Lotte has been one of the stronger performers among the premium players in ice cream and frozen desserts, with sales of its Lady Borden brand being driven by the strong demand for affordable luxury among consumers. In November 2020, the company launched a Lady Borden Liquor Dessert, which is a new line of single portion dairy ice cream with a hint of cognac to attract more adult consumers.
Ezaki Glico saw sharp decline in sales for is 17 Ice Cream brand during 2020. This was due to the fact it is a brand that is sold only through the vending channel, and with consumers remaining at home due to COVID-19 sales through vending suffered.
In pre-COVID-19 Japan, eating ice cream during working hours was uncommon. However, the shift to working from home has changed meant consumers can now access ice cream even during their working hours.
In the new normal, consumers are spending more time at home and reducing the frequency of their shopping trips, with this continuing to be seen in 2021. Previously, in pre-COVID-19 Japan, multi-pack ice cream was mostly bought by families.
Manufacturers, retailers, and consumers are all paying more attention to issues around sustainability in Japan. Although Japanese consumers are relatively unaware of the environmental impact they are having through their purchasing decisions, sustainable consumption is nonetheless becoming a key topic of discussion in Japan.
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This report originates from Passport, our Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts research and analysis database.
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