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.
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%).
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.
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.
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