Most popular desserts in Japan 2019

Ice cream was rated the most popular dessert in Japan. According to a survey conducted in October 2019, over 45 percent of respondents named the frozen treat as their number one dessert. For six consecutive years, ice cream was the dessert of choice for the majority of consumers in Japan.

A unique experience: Japan’s ice cream flavors

In 2018, almost 182 thousand kiloliters of ice cream were sold in Japan, which translates into a domestic sales value of over 151 billion Japanese yen. As the majority of ice cream is produced by domestic manufacturers, the flavors are customized to cater to local preferences.
Vanilla, chocolate, and cookies and cream are considered the most popular ice cream flavors in Japan, while traditional Japanese flavorings like matcha and adzuki beans did not fall behind in popularity. For consumers looking for a more unique experience, manufacturers offer the frozen treat in bold flavors inspired by tofu, squid ink, soy sauce, wasabi, or garlic.

Sweets in Japan: Between tradition and innovation

The domestic market encompasses a wide array of sweets, ranging from traditional Japanese confectionery (wagashi) to Western-style baked goods like sponge cakes and pies.
Wagashi ranked in fourth place as the most popular dessert among Japanese consumers. The traditional confectionery made up an integral part of the confectionery production in Japan, surpassing even the third ranked chocolate, with a production volume of almost 302 thousand tons in 2018.
However, despite not ranking high as a consumer favorite, steady retail sales of Western confectionery hint at a lucrative market, with global confectionery companies competing in the Japanese market.

Favorite desserts among consumers in Japan as of October 2019

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Release date

December 2019



Survey time period

October 24 to 31, 2019

Number of respondents

1,200 respondents

Age group

10-69 years

Special properties

figures only show first choice

Method of interview

Online survey

Supplementary notes

Original question: "Which desserts (sweets) do you like most? Please rank your three favorite desserts".

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Statistics on "Snack foods in Japan"

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