Cheese in Japan - New Study Released

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Thu Apr 02 2015

Cheese will record 2% current value growth in 2014, rising to ¥337.0 billion. While value sales will register growth, volume sales will remain flat because of the rising average unit price and downsizing activities by major manufacturers. Unit prices in all cheese categories will increase in 2014 primarily due to the increase in the unit price of natural cheese imported from overseas. More than 70% of cheese products consumed in Japan are made of imported cheese. The growing demand for cheese and other dairy products in China and other emerging markets has resulted in rising imported costs of cheese. A weaker yen since 2013 has also put pressure on manufacturers. To secure their revenue, major cheese manufacturers as well as private label owners raised the unit prices of their existing brands throughout 2014 by downsizing their products while keeping the existing unit prices.

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Competitive Landscape

Megmilk Snow Brand Co Ltd will maintain its lead in cheese in Japan in 2014, accounting for a 27% value share. The company’s position has been supported by its wide product portfolio in both processed cheese and unprocessed cheese. The position has also been supported by constant promotional campaigns to establish its brands among consumers. The company’s sales of cheese will increase in 2014 because it has been encouraging the use of cheese in cooking in collaboration with Harumi Kurihara, a popular cookery writer. The company relaunched its website in August 2014, offering her recipes using the company’s cheese and other dairy products to add more content. The company also launched a campaign to run between November 2014 and February 2015 whereby consumers can collect barcodes on sliced cheese products and apply to the campaign to win a Moomin plate, which has been effective in promoting consumption among family members as Moomin is a particularly popular character with women and children.

Industry Prospects

Cheese is expected to increase by a value CAGR of 1% at constant 2014 prices over the forecast period. This growth rate is expected to be driven by the faster growth of unprocessed cheese compared with processed cheese. The anticipated sales rise in unprocessed cheese is related to changing eating habits among Japanese consumers. As the domestic consumption of wine has been rising, it is increasingly common for Japanese consumers to have wine and cheese together. To meet the growing demand for unprocessed cheese, retailers are expected to expand sales areas for cheese. For instance, Life Corporation, a major supermarket player, opened up Cheese House, which is a specialist cheese store within its supermarket Life, in July 2014. This company aims to increase the number of its outlets to attract young couples and single people who consume wine.

Report Overview

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