The Baby Food Sector in Japan, 2019

The Baby Food Sector in Japan, 2019

Published: July 2019
Publisher: GlobalData
Product ref: 312018
Pages: 145
Format: PDF
Delivery: By product vendor

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“The Baby Food Sector in Japan 2019” is an analytical report by GlobalData which provides extensive and highly detailed current and future market trends in the Japanese market.

Living standards are among the highest in the world, and 90% of people count as middle class. However, the market has been plagued by steeply declining birth numbers. Volume sales rose by less than 1% from 2012 to 2018, although intake per baby (0-36 months) increased in all categories except drinks. Milks sales were hit by rising breastfeeding rates and bad publicity, and are therefore marginally lower now than in 2012, despite some recent growth due to longer usage and to tourist purchases. Baby meals fared better, as parents seek convenient ways of feeding their babies, while finger foods outperformed other categories. The market relies almost totally on domestic production, with imports negligible. The top three manufacturers - Meiji, Wakodo, and Morinaga - account for two-thirds of sales. Meiji and Morinaga dominate in milks, while Wakodo is dominant in other categories. Multinationals remain largely absent. Pharmacies/drugstores account for a significant share of baby food sales thanks to their importance in milks. Specialist baby stores have increased their share, but supermarkets/hypermarkets are now the leading channel for the distribution and are particularly important in urban areas. A continuing fall in the number of births and low price rises, will mean that retail sales will show little growth in real terms in the years to 2024, and consumption is predicted to fall, although per capita consumption is likely to be more positive.

What else does this report offer?
• Consumption data based upon a unique combination of industry research, fieldwork, market sizing work and our in-house expertise to offer extensive data about the trends and dynamics affecting the industry.
• Detailed profile of the companies operating and new companies considering entry in the industry along with their key focus product sectors.
• Market profile of the various product sectors with the key features & developments, segmentation, per capita trends and the various manufacturers & brands.
• Overview of baby food retailing with a mention of the major retailers in the country along with the distribution channel.
• Future projections considering various trends which are likely to affect the industry.


• With the exception of a tiny increase in 2015, the number of births in Japan has continued to decline, dipping below one million for the first time in recent years in 2016 and standing at an estimated 921,000 in 2018.
• Baby food, although expensive by international standards, remains affordable to the vast majority of Japanese mothers, and to the small, but growing, number of fathers who participate in childcare.
• Milks accounted for 42% of sector volume in 2018. Baby meals have fared better, rising by 27% in volume since 2012, as parents have increasingly sought convenient ways of feeding their babies.
• Meiji, Wakodo, and Morinaga Milk - accounted for 68.3% of the 2018 market in terms of value. Meiji and Morinaga Milk dominate the milks category, while Wakodo is dominant in the meals and others categories.
• In value terms, wet meals made up 83.5% of the total in 2017. The last three years for which figures are available have seen dry meals rallying slightly, claiming 16.5% of retail sales in 2017, compared with only 14.2% in 2014.
• With birth rates expected to continue falling, the overall size of the baby population (aged 0-3 years) is expected to decline to 2.5 million by 2024, compared with 3.1 million a decade earlier.

Reasons to buy

• Evaluate important changes in consumer behavior and identify profitable markets and areas for product innovation.
• Analyse current and forecast behavior trends in each category to identify the best opportunities to exploit.
• Detailed understanding of consumption by individual product categories in order to align your sales and marketing efforts with the latest trends in the market.
• Investigates which categories are performing the best and how this is changing market dynamics.

Companies MentionedMeiji Company Ltd
Wakodo Company Ltd
Morinaga Milk Industry
Snow Brand Milk/Bean Stalk Snow Co.
Kewpie Corporation
Pigeon Corporation
Glico Group
Other Manufacturers.

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Related research categories

By sector: Baby/Children's food

By market: Japan (in Asia)

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