Health Food Market in Japan: Key Research Findings 2024

Health Food Market Continues Gradual Expansion

Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) carried out a survey on the health food market in Japan and found out the market trends by segment, trends of market players, and future perspectives.

Market Size Transition and Forecast for Health Foods, Foods with Functional Claims and Supplements
Market Size Transition and Forecast for Health Foods, Foods with Functional Claims and Supplements

Market Overview

The health food market in FY2022 has been estimated as 886,060 million yen, up by 0.4% on YoY, and that for FY2023 is projected to rise by 1.5% on YoY at 899,510 million yen.

As the influence of special demand for health food market between FY2020 and FY2021 amid the COVID-19 crisis waned, FY2022 has seen a downturn in demand for mail order sales occupying large market ratio from the upsurge amid the pandemic and has also seen a slowdown in sales by the overseas channel stemming from the pandemic lockdown, though having expanded steadily in recent years. All of these have affected the growth rate for FY2022 to shrink from the previous fiscal year.

On the other hand, as the behavior restrictions have gradually lifted, flow of people from the latter half of FY2022 to FY2023 has recovered in Japan, which have enormously raised the drugstore channel and regained the food-related channels including convenience stores.

Furthermore, downgrading of COVID-19 to class 5 under the Infectious Diseases Control Law in May 2023 has increased flow of people, added with rapid return of inbound tourism demand caused by an increasing number of foreign travelers, improvement of the over-the-counter channel has become obvious. These are projected to contribute to higher growth rate for FY2023 than that for the preceding fiscal year.

For the materials of health food, the protein market has been expanding due to increased opportunities for sporting and exercising. As there are changes observed in lifestyles after COVID, anti-alcohol drinks and foods for beauty are showing recovery.

Noteworthy Topics

Ratio of Foods with Functional Claims Exceeded 20% in Health Food Market

The comprising ratio of foods with functional claims (in the shape of supplement) in the health food market in FY2022 has been 23.0% and is projected to be 24.2% by FY2024.

The sales promotions for foods with functional claims to general consumers are centered on the advertisement that appeals functional claims and the communication appeals at stores. In addition to new product releases for such foods, existing health foods tend to be renewed as foods with functional claims, which is likely for these foods to increase the ratio in the health food market.

Future Outlook

As the interests in health and longevity increase mainly among old people, demand for foods that have effect for health and beauty is likely to grow furthermore.

In the food market, mainly regarding foods with functional claims, product development to add values for health functionality is expanding, which is diversifying the consumer options for health or beauty maintenance and promotions. This is likely to bring about fiercer competition among foods with functionalities.
While the value for general foods is in the taste, supplement-shaped foods are valued for their shapes for being easier to continue taking. As one of the methods to keep or to propel the health or beauty, these foods are likely to keep growing in a gradual pace, supported by a certain demand.

As for the overseas market with more growth expected, Japanese health food manufacturers have commenced or expanded the business overseas, especially in Asia. There are companies that have succeeded in branding, or those who have increased the sales by cooperations with leading local partners. Exploration of leading local partners and the strategy to communicate with local consumers are the keys for the success in overseas business development. In addition, successful branding at an early stage and differentiation via added values are quite important, because future sales enhancement by overseas supplement manufacturers and expansion of health foods manufactured and sold by local companies are anticipated.

Research Outline

1.Research Period: October 2023 to January 2024
2.Research Object: Health food manufacturers and distributors (mainly health food manufacturers, including general food manufacturers and pharmaceutical manufacturers), health food organizations, and the authorities concerned
3.Research Methogology: Face-to-face interviews (online included) by specialized researchers, interviews via telephone, mailed or emailed questionnaire, and literature research

The Health Food Market

Health foods in this research refer to foods in the shapes of tablet, capsule, powder, or bottled liquid, aiming for health maintenance and promotions, beauty, etc. The size of health food market in this research only includes the Foods with Function Claims (only those applied for and accepted by Consumer Affairs Agency), FOSHU (Foods for Specified Health Uses), with the shapes described above. Those that do not apply to the above description are not included.

<Products and Services in the Market>

Green Juice (Aojiru), collagen, multivitamin, glucosamine, protein, Enzyme, vitamin C, DHA/EPA, black vinegar, etc.

Published Report

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