No.1973
08/29/2018

Beverage Market in Japan: Key Research Findings 2018

Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) has conducted a survey on the beverage market and has found out the trends by beverage category, the trends by sales channel, the trends of the market players, and the future outlook.


Figure: Transition of Beverage Market Size
Figure: Transition of Beverage Market Size

Market Overview

The domestic beverage market size (including milk and milk-based drinks) in FY2017 slightly rose to 100.5% of the size of the previous fiscal year to achieve 5,105,000 million yen, based on the shipment value at manufacturers.

Boosted by fierce heat the beverage market showed steady growth until July, but turned for the worse in August as record-long rainfalls affected the sales of beverages to slow down.  During September the sales of beverages did not fluctuate, because of the recent tendency of summer heat tending not to linger for the past two or three years.  However, the beverage market was affected once again in October due to lingering rains and record-low temperature days.  Although low-temperature days were sometimes effective for raising the demand of hot beverages, October is in the middle of the best season for travelling, so that long-lasted rains resulted as a huge negative factor.

Encouraged by fierce heat, the market showed steady growth until July, but it turned for the worse in August as record long rainfalls affected the sales of beverages to slow down.  In September, the summer heat usually lingers but such tendency has not been seen for the last two or three years, so that the sales of beverages during the month did not make much difference.  However, the beverage market was affected once again in October when the weathers recorded long-lasted rains and low-temperature days.  Although low-temperature days can be sometimes effective in raising the demand of hot beverages, October is in the middle of the best season for travelling, so that long-lasted rains were nothing but a negative factor.

FY2017 was the fiscal year that has expanded the sales of beverages that have healthy impressions like Japanese tea drinks, vegetable drinks, soy milks, and drinking yoghurt.  In response to such consumer demand, each maker, too, has made effort to develop products pursuing health, including Foods for Specified Health Uses (FOSHU) and Foods with Function Claims.

The favorable sales until July and the sales of the products that pursued health have contributed to attain positive growth in the beverage market throughout FY2017.

Noteworthy Topics

In recent years, new products in the beverage market are said to be difficult to become hot seller.  Unlike what it used to be in the past, it has become difficult to secure profits by expanding the volume to sell when new products are released, the sales growth can be efficiently secured by concentrating the resources of operation to the successful existing brands.

In such a status, the one that has made a hot-seller product in 2017 was “CRAFT BOSS” released in April by Suntory Beverage and Food.  By setting the target audience to desk workers when determining the flavor and content volume, and because of the stylish bottles, CRAFT BOSS was favored by young people and women who usually do not drink canned coffee.  It means that CRAFT BOSS has succeeded in acquiring new customers who are not the canned coffee users.

Successful sales of CRAFT BOSS have led all the following companies and groups to launch the respective PET bottled coffees, i.e., “Georgia Japan Craftman Black” by the Coca-Cola system, “UCC BLACK COLD BREW” by UCC Ueshima Coffee Co.,Ltd., “Blendy® #GO” by Ajinomoto AGF Inc., and etc.

Research Outline

1.Research Period: May to July, 2018
2.Research Object: Beverage manufacturers, retailers, and etc.
3.Research Methogology: Face-to-face interviews by the expert researchers, surveys via telephone, questionnaire, and literature research

What is the Beverage Market?

Beverages indicate some drinks with the alcohol content less than 1%, contained within the containers including PET bottles, enabling people to drink directly from.
The beverage market in this research indicates the market of carbonated drinks, coffee drinks, mineral water, beverages with fruit juice, various types of teas (Japanese tea, English tea, Oolong tea, etc.,) sports/functional drinks, nutritional drinks (including energy drinks,) drinking milks, fermented lactic-drinks, soy milk, and etc.

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