From protein to clean labels, many of us have a grasp on what’s trending in the United States in terms of food and beverages. But how about in other areas of the world? We asked our Japanese colleagues to weigh in on the top food and beverage trends in Japan in 2015. Below are their picks.
1. Functional Foods and Beverages
“Heart healthy” and other claims are abundant on foods and beverages in the United States. This may soon be the case in Japan as well. The Japanese Consumer Affairs Agency will be fundamentally changing the health claim system in 2015, making it easier to put non-disease health claims on the labels of food and beverages. Up until now, some groups have criticized the current FOSHU (Foods for Specified Health Uses) system for being too restrictive and limiting the growth of functional food and beverage sales in Japan. The new labeling guidelines will be announced in 2015. Once implemented, we expect to see a boom of new functional foods and beverages launched in the Japanese marketplace.
2. Soy, Almond, and Rice Milk
The popularity of non-dairy milk alternatives is expected to continue among health-oriented Japanese consumers in 2015. Compared to whole milk, soy, almond and rice milks have fewer calories, lower fat content, and are cholesterol free. Soy milk production showed 8% growth CAGR between 2010 and 2013 according to a survey conducted by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
3. Dessert Fusions
Fusion baked goods, such as donut-croissants (pictured), are another trend to watch. In 2015, Japanese food manufacturers are expected to launch a variety of innovative fusion desserts, bringing this trend more mainstream. In fact, one of the largest donut manufacturers in Japan launched a highly visible donut-Danish fusion already this year.
4. Taiwanese Cuisine
All things Taiwanese cuisine-related will be trending in 2015. In 2014, Taiwanese desserts, such as shaved ice to bubble tea, gained popularity in Japan. In 2015, savory foods, such as Taiwanese beef noodle soup, will be on the rise. Japanese visitors to Taiwan reached over 1.4 million annually in 2013, a 9.5% increase from 2010, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.
Global Nutrition Group. (2014). 2014 Health Food Market Topics [2014 Nen Kenko Shokuhin Shijou Toppikkusu]. Global Nutrition Group Newsletter.
Japan National Tourism Association. (2014). Japanese Overseas Travelers by Destination from 2009 to 2013. Retrieved from http://www.jnto.go.jp/jpn/reference/tourism_data/pdf/marketingdata_overseas_traveler141002.pdf
Japanese Soy Milk Association. (2014). [Graphic Illustration of Soy Milk Production Trends from May 2014]. Retrieved from http://www.tounyu.jp/images/database/market_2014_05.pdf.