Meal Service Market in Japan: Key Research Findings 2020

Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) has conducted a survey on the meal service market and has found out the market trends by segment, the trends of market players, and the future outlook.

Transition and Forecast of Meal Service Market Size
Transition and Forecast of Meal Service Market Size
Composition Ratio of Meal Service Market by Category
Composition Ratio of Meal Service Market by Category

Market Overview

Although economy had been recovering moderately, domestic economic growth slowed down due to the US-China trade conflicts and downturn in Chinese economy. For FY2019, the meal service market generated 4,794 billion yen (based on the sales at businesses), 100.4% YoY, driven by services for elderly facilities, schools, and kindergarten/child-care centers. 
In detail by the six categories of the market, the services for office on-site cooking accounts for a highest ratio of 28.8%, followed by meal services for hospitals (23.9%) and meal services for elderly facilities (20.8%). 

Noteworthy Topics

Impact of COVID-19 at and “World with Corona” for Meal Service Providers

The office on-site cooking service, bento delivery service, school meals, and kindergarten/childcare center meals were affected by the outbreak of novel coronavirus, as it led people to stay-at-home in compliance with the state of emergency declaration, expanded remote work among white collar workers in major metropolis, and closure of schools and kindergartens/childcare centers.  
For the meal service businesses, positive side of the pandemic is that it generated demand for emergency food and increased number of service users. On the other hand, negative side of it was drop in sales; meal service facilities shut down and the number of eaters diminished. The decline was particularly notable between April and May under the state of emergency declaration, and it left significant impact on the market. However, to continue businesses in the world with COVID-19, each company is considering measures from a variety of perspectives such as acquisition of new customers through new sales channels, enhancement of business opportunities by new product development, reallocation of personnel, and promotion of workstyle reform to secure staffs.

Future Outlook

As many categories of the market suffered drop in growth caused by influence of COVID-19, the meal service market is expected to shrink by 2.6% on a year-on-year basis to attain 4,667.4 billion yen for FY2020. 
Despite some slight ups-and-downs expected in each category of the market due to various factors, because no one knows when the pandemic will be over, projection for FY2021 and beyond is uncertain. The meal service market is estimated to grow slightly to reach 7,831.9 billion yen for FY2024. Viewing from each of 6 categories comprising the market, the meal services for elderly facilities, school lunches, and kindergarten/childcare center meals are likely to increase, while office on-site cooking service, services of bento delivery to offices, and hospital meals are projected to shrink.

Research Outline

1.Research Period: April to July 2020
2.Research Object: Meal service providers
3.Research Methogology: Face-to-face interviews by expert researchers, surveys via telephone, and literature research

Meal Service Market

The meal service market in this research indicates the total sales of the following six categories: 1) Office on-site cooking service; 2) Bento (assorted-plate meal) delivery service to office/home (the total sales of office-delivered bento and home-delivered dishes); 3) Meal service for hospitals; 4) Meal service for elderly facilities (special nursing home for elderly, geriatric health services facilities, and retirement homes); 5) school meals (lunches provided at schools under School Lunch Act, including high schools, elementary schools, middle schools, night high schools and schools for children with special needs); and 6) kindergarten/childcare center meals.  
The meal services for hospitals and elderly facilities include the meals for doctors and staff members as well as for inpatients and persons admitted.

<Products and Services in the Market>

Meal services in 6 categories (office on-site cooking service, bento delivery service, meal service for hospitals, meal service for elderly facilities, school meals, and kindergarten/childcare center meals)

Published Report

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