Meiji’s main business segmentNonetheless, the food business represents the holding company’s largest revenue source, encompassing dairy products, processed foodstuff, infant food, and chocolate confectionery. The fresh and fermented dairy products contributed the largest share towards Meiji’s net sales in the foodstuff segment, establishing the company as a leading dairy corporation in the global market.
Furthermore, Meiji is well-known as a major confectionery manufacturer in Japan, with the focus lying on the production of chocolate. Its portfolio encompasses filled and covered products, as well as bean to bar chocolate. At the forefront stands the in-house brand ‘meiji THE Chocolate’.
Outline of the Japanese food manufacturing industryThe manufacturing industry is one of the largest in Japan, with the second-highest number of establishments operating within the food manufacturing sector. The industry leaders emerged predominantly from the alcoholic beverage industry, with breweries expanding their businesses into food processing. Prominent examples include, among others, Asahi Group Holdings Co., Ltd. producing convenience food, and Kirin Holdings Co., Ltd. entering the health food market through affiliated companies. Other major manufacturers like Meiji or Ezaki Glico Co., Ltd. entered as confectionery companies and expanded their businesses into the production of processed and convenience food.
Even though Japan is known for its lively foodservice sector offering freshly prepared meals, the shift of the Japanese lifestyle towards long working hours coupled with less time spent at home favored a growing packaged ready-meal market. However, a reversed trend can be observed in recent years.