Food retail in Japan - Statistics & Facts

The Japanese food retail industry comprises food sold at food and beverage retailers such as supermarkets and grocery stores, convenience stores, mass merchandisers, department stores, and specialty stores. Of those, supermarkets show the highest turnover in food and beverage sales in the country. Leading retailers in Japan include Aeon, the convenience store chain 7-Eleven Japan and Isetan Mitsukoshi department stores.

In recent years, online grocery shopping has become increasingly popular, with food products being one of the leading items ordered over the internet by households in Japan.

Japanese consumers are known for producing and demanding high quality products. Yet surveys have shown that when it comes to food choices, prices remained the leading factor in choosing food and beverage products among consumers. Therefore, it may not come as a surprise that over 50 percent of consumers participate in supermarket loyalty card programs.

Another important factor in food retail sales is the relevance of food gifting in Japanese society. Traditional gifting includes exclusive food products but has become more casual in modern day Japan. Hallmark holidays such as Valentine’s Day or White Day are popular occasions to exchange presents in the form of confectioneries or small food items.

Furthermore, health foods, supplements and foods with function claims have been taking over the market in recent years and are expected to steadily increase domestic shipments.

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