Snack foods in Japan - Statistics & Facts

Published by Statista Research Department, Oct 17, 2019
The snack foods industry in Japan offers a wide variety of sweet and savory flavors, including both traditional Japanese and foreign products. Due to the growing influence of Western snacks, the domestic snack food business keeps expanding, with new products continuously entering the Japanese market. In 2017, the domestic production of confectionery and snack foods reached almost two million metric tons, showing a steady increase in recent years. On a global scale, the Japanese snack food business ranked second in 2018, generating around 8.9 billion U.S. dollars in revenue and topped only by the U.S. snack food market.
The Japanese snack food industry is dominated by domestic manufacturers such as Lotte Group, Meiji Holdings Co., Ltd. or Morinaga & Co., Ltd., while global manufacturers like Mondelez International Inc., Nestlé SA or Mars Inc. are successfully contributing to the popularity of foreign snacks in Japan.

Savory snacks in the Japanese market include products such as wheat flour-based crackers (senbei), rice crackers or deep-fried confectioneries. Sweet snacks encompass a wide array of confectioneries ranging from traditional sweets (wagashi) to western style confectioneries (yônamagashi), candy or chewing gum, with chocolate representing the most popular snack product on the market.

Despite the wide range of snack products, snacking is not necessarily a common habit among Japanese, with only two percent of consumers eating snack foods on a daily basis. Stimulated by an increasing awareness for health and wellness products, snack food manufacturers are required to adapt to those changes by introducing healthier snacking options. Forecasts suggests that retail sales of healthy snack foods like cereal bars, fruit snacks, naturally healthy products, as well as reduced sugar confectioneries will steadily increase in the future.

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Snack foods in Japan

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