Beverage Market in Japan: Key Research Findings 2019
Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) has conducted a survey on the beverage market for FY2018 and has found out the trends by beverage category, the trends by sales channel, the trends of the market players, and the future outlook.
The domestic beverage market size (including milk and milk-based drinks) for FY2018 rose by 1.5% from the previous fiscal year to have achieved 5,180,000 million yen, exceeding the previous-year results for four years in a row, based on the shipment value at manufacturers. The market expansion for the past few years mainly stems from the weathers. For FY2018 the rainy season ended in the middle of June, much earlier than usual years, followed by record-breaking heat waves having swept the nation by the beginning of July and lingered on throughout August, boosting the beverage demand.
On the other hand, the market faced some challenges such as beverage manufacturers being unable to keep up with the soaring demand and obliged to adjust the shipment, while multiple natural disasters of torrential rains and earthquakes respectively hitting different parts of the nation, confusing the distribution network.
When observing the market conditions by category, thirst-quenching drinks such as carbonated drinks, Japanese tea drinks, mineral water, and sports and functional drinks showed favorable sales, whereas the sales of fruit juices, coffee, tea, and milk-based beverages were stagnant.
Obvious Tendency for Makers to Focus on Core Brands
In recent years, major beverage makers clarified their intention to focus on profits, which led them to enhance their core brands business. This affected to prevent new brands from generating. Therefore, the new products tend to be the products derived from existing, core long-selling brands. By remodeling or improving the existing products within the long-selling brands, the makers are trying to secure loyal customers and to keep stable sales, while reforming the entire brand images.
In such a status, the makers have diversified their core exiting brands by developing products across multiple categories. For instance, Suntory Beverage & Food Limited released “Suntory Tennensui GREEN TEA”, “Craft Boss Tea Non-sugar” and “Craft Boss Milk Tea”, while ASAHI SOFT DRINKS CO., LTD. started providing “Wilkinson Tansan Tea” and Coca Cola System began releasing “Aquarius lactic acid bacterium White”.
For FY2019, the beverage market in July, though supposed to be the best-selling month, suffered from lengthy rainy season and long-lasting low temperature, completely opposite from last year. Although the sales recovered in August as fierce heatwaves hit, the sales failed to reach the usual years to boost the whole market. In addition, the consumption tax rate to increase to 10% is likely to discourage consumption, though tax reduction is applied to beverages. Therefore, the domestic beverage market size (including milk and milk-based drinks) for FY2019 is likely to end up with 98.9% of that of the previous year to be 5,125,000 million yen, based on the shipment value at makers.
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