Traditional, filled or flavored?
In 2021, chocolate ranked in third as the most popular dessert among Japanese consumers, surpassing wagashi in popularity. While traditional flavors like dark, milk, and white chocolate make up the staple products in the global market, Japanese manufacturers have found inspiration in the local food culture. Flavors like green tea, strawberry, or pudding have proven to be popular among domestic consumers and overseas visitors.
Whereas traditional sweets play a major role in the domestic production, chocolate dominates the confectionery retail market in Japan.
Confectioneries in Japan
In 2021, the retail sales value of confectionery in Japan continued to stay above three trillion Japanese yen. The domestic confectionery market can be broken down into two distinct categories: sweet and savory snacks. Savory snacks include products such as wheat or rice-based crackers and deep-fried confectionery, while sweets encompass a variety of products ranging from sugar-based treats like wagashi to baked goods like cakes.
To accommodate a growing health consciousness among consumers, manufacturers expanded into the functional and health food market, with the sales of confectionery certified as "foods for specified health uses" reaching 37 billion Japanese yen in fiscal year 2020.