This report provides a concise overview of the Ice Cream
market in Japan. After reading this report, you will understand the size of
the market, the economic, demographic and behavioral trends which will drive
its evolution and the leading companies within the market, allowing you to
plan effectively for the future.
Introduction and Landscape
Why was the report written?
This overview of the consumer and market dynamics of the Japanese Ice Cream
sector allows new entrants and established companies to gain rapid and
comprehensive insight into the current state of the market and identify the
key trends which will drive growth in the coming years.
What is the current market landscape and what is changing?
Impulse Ice Cream is the largest category accounting for half of total
packaged Ice Cream sales in Japan. Take-Home Ice cream, the second largest
category, is the slowest growing. Its declining sales can be attributed to
rise in smaller households comprising single or two person occupancy, who
prefer eating out at Ice Cream parlors. All season products and increased
premiumization are key trends in Japan’s Ice Cream market.
What are the key drivers behind recent market changes?
Japanese consumers are willing to pay premium prices for quality products
instead of trading down. The increased number of seasonal products is part of
Ice Cream companies’ strategy to reduce seasonality as Ice Cream consumption
in Japan is highly seasonal, with consumption peaking during
What makes this report unique and essential to read?
This report brings together consumer insight and market data to provide a
comprehensive brief of the Japanese Ice Cream sector. This allows for the
rapid identification of key growth opportunities across major Ice Cream
categories and their packaging.
Key Features and Benefits
Analysis of consumer behavior, economic conditions, and
demography reveals emerging opportunities in the Ice Cream
Key growth categories are highlighted by analyzing the market dynamics of
major Ice Cream categories.
Market shares are provided for the leading brands and private labels across
Ice Cream categories.
An overview of packaging trends in the Japanese Ice Cream sector is
provided, including primary packaging material and type, packaging closures,
and outer packaging.
Key Market Issues
Japan is one of the fastest aging nations among developed
countries. Consumers above the age of 65 accounted for 24% of the population
in 2012, while children aged 14 and under made up only 13%. Consumer Packaged
Goods companies are increasingly tapping into the lucrative “grey” market
with a range of products targeting the elderly population. Increased health
concerns have popularized healthy Ice Creams in Japan that are low fat, have
low-carbohydrate content, or are pro-biotic.
Hypermarkets & Supermarkets continued to be the preferred distribution
channel for Ice Cream, followed by Food & Drinks Specialists. Brand
outlets of the leading Ice Cream brands, once a major attraction, have higher
operational costs. In the Impulse Ice Cream category, Food & Drinks
Specialists account for one-third of total sales.
Great taste, exotic flavors, and premium packaging make Ice Cream a
favorite eating out indulgence. Japan’s Ice cream industry has an equal
trade-off between on premise and off premise sales. Ice Cream parlors in
Japan, several of which are company stores, offer blend-ins, mix-ins, and
smooth-ins in a wide range of flavors such as green tea, azuki bean, and
exotic fruit combinations that are highly popular.
Rising production costs implies optimizing price versus size. Japanese
consumers prefer low-priced single-serve Ice Cream or that in mini pots/tubs.
This makes the trade-off between price and size even more
The Artisanal Ice Cream category is the fastest-growing category that will also
continue during 2012-2017, recording an annual growth rate that is higher
than the overall market growth. Artisanal Ice Cream sales are driven by
demand in its niche market, which offers Japanese style Ice Cream in local
Japan’s weak economic growth has resulted in one of the
slowest growing CPG markets in the region. However, Japan still remains one
of the most affluent societies worldwide, and its Ice Cream market is one of
the largest globally. Higher consumer expenditure and mild inflation is
expected to boost the demand for Ice Cream in Japan during
Japanese consumers prefer delicate Ice Cream flavors that are fresh and
fruity, but not too sweet. Popular
flavors include strawberry, cherry, and banana among the regular flavors and
green tea, soy, and black sesame in Japanese style.
Though Ice Cream holds it primary appeal as an indulgent treat, increased
health concerns have popularized healthy Ice Creams in Japan.
Flexible Packaging packs will increase their market share by 2.3% between
2012 and 2017, driven by the greater consumption of Impulse Ice Cream and
Artisanal Ice Cream. Meanwhile, the market share held by Rigid Plastic and
Paper & Board will decline.
The rise in single person and small households in Japan is driving demand
for single-serve Ice Creams, both hand-held and as individual tubs.
Table of Contents
- A declining birth rate and an aging population are creating new dynamics in
the consumer goods market in Japan
- Hypermarkets & Supermarkets account for the majority of Food & Grocery sales
- Food & drinks specialists have a large share in Ice Cream distribution
- Great taste, premium packaging, and exotic flavors make Ice Cream a favorite
eating out indulgence
- All season products and increased premiumization are key trends in Japan’s Ice
- Focus on increased Ice Cream variants and addressing health concerns to win
competition in the market place
- Low sales growth in the Take-Home Ice Cream category due to rise in small
- Growth in major Ice Cream categories to remain flat; Artisanal Ice Cream sales
to grow fastest driven by exotic flavors and unique Japanese varieties
Brands & Private Labels
- Private label’s presence highest in Artisanal Ice Cream category followed by
Take-Home Ice Cream
- Low switching cost and better leverage with own brands against big brands will
favor private label Ice Cream brands
- Rising ingredients cost resulting in smaller pack size in the Ice Cream market
- Flexible packaging to increase its share with higher growth in the Impulse Ice
Future Outlook– four key trends in Japan’s Ice Cream sector
- Brand stores vs. channel sales
- Product innovation to win competition
- Demand for single-serve Ice Cream on the rise
- Ice Cream co-branding with Confectionery on the rise
Data Appendix & Summary Methodology