Sugar is used in traditional Japanese cooking alongside ingredients such as soy sauce, sake, mirin (sweet cooking rice wine) and miso paste, making it a popular product. However, with growing health concerns and a shrinking population the demand for sugar and sweeteners continued to decline in 2019.
Prior to the pandemic, consumers had been actively seeking out alternatives to sugar which led to growth in the range of sweeteners available on the country. For example, the first commercially available stevia, a plant-based sweetener, was produced by a Japanese company in the 1970s and has a long history of use in the country.
Volume sales growth of sugar and sweeteners is expected to rebound strongly in the foodservice and institutional channels in 2021 and 2022, after which it will fall away to pre-pandemic levels. The positive growth momentum generated by the unprecedented circumstances created by the pandemic in 2020 is likely to fall away immediately with this channel seeing annual growth contractions for the remainder of the forecast period.
Thanks to the TPP trade agreement in 2018 there is likely to be growing competition within sugar and sweeteners over the forecast period. For example, Australia, which is the third-largest exporter of raw sugar will be able to import their sugar more cheaply, building on the relationship established with the Japan-Australia bilateral Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA).
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This report originates from Passport, our Sugar and Sweeteners research and analysis database.
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