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THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARIL... - page 20 / 38

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Functional Foods

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See specific product category

Japan has strict food standard requirements that must be met. For the Japanese to recognize any new beneficial aspects of food, scientific evidence, education and promotion is necessary. The primary method to gain access as a health product is to get FOSHU (Foods for Specified Health Use) certification.

According to the Japan Health Food and Nutrition Food Association‘s survey of over 182 companies in August 2009, there are 833 FOSHU products with an estimated market size of US$5.84 billion, a 20% reduction from 2007. The main reason for this reduction appears to be the weak economy. While the reduction is substantial, the functional foods market is still a segment of interest for domestic and international firms.

Beer

2203

6,111,000 KL (2008) (including happoshu and other low-malt beers)

30,729 KL

-0.8%

Free

Japanese government imposes higher tax on beer compared with other liquors. Five major domestic brewers control 98.4% of the beer market

Urban redevelopment projects have created new pubs and restaurants and increased opportunities especially for craft beer. Holidays and special occasions are suited for promotion of high quality products.

Whiskey

220830

76,067 KL (2008)

15,926 KL

-0.42%

Free

Creating brand recognition is often difficult without partnerships with leading Japanese liquor manufacturers who have close ties with distributors. Whiskey has generally been considered liquor consumed by men over 50 years old.

Since 2008, whiskey is making a comeback in the Japanese alcoholic beverage market. Japanese manufacturers‘ promotions have boosted demand for whiskey including imports notably among the young generation, who hardly consumed whiskey before. Highball, a drink made with whiskey, soda and ice, helped whiskey‘s popularity rise in the 80‘s. The highball has done it again. U.S. brands are price-competitive thanks to the strong yen. U.S. whiskey and bourbon brands are well known in most bar scenes.

the 4th position, following Chile, Norway, and Russia. Norway is a major supplier of fresh salmon to Japan. Fish prices have been increasing as fish consumption in the world has been rising due to heightened health consciousness.

Sources: ATOs; Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; Ministry of Finance; Japan Frozen Food Association; Pet Food Manufacturers Association; Fuji Keizai; Brewers Association of Japan. Note: The 2009 market size is an estimate made by ATO.

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