The Japanese Wine Market Trends

I promised to express my new views on the global market based on my recent experience in Italy. One of the speakers I had the chance to meet was mr. Akio Sato, Intelligence Unit Director at Diamond-Friedman Co. LTD – a very pleasant gentlemen with a great sense of humor and a very healthy passion for wines.

I remember that he had a very interesting feed-back regarding the Japanese Wine Market Trend and I’ll try to underline some of the key points since I promised to write something about Japan.
First of all, Japan has serious demographic concerns – as we speak they are 127 million but Japan’s population has begun to decrease at a rate higher than predicted by the Government – it seems that the number may drop below 100 million by 2050 (Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications Statistics Bureau, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research ”Future population projections in Japan” – date of projections: January 2002).

The second thing I had no idea about is regarding the senilization in Japan that shows the most intense curve (as we speak, it’s No.1 in the world) – 35,0% (above 65 years of age).

On the other hand, there are some positive aspects regarding the population, mainly the great interest for health and environment – 23,5% of the consumers are part of the LOHAS (acronym for “Lifestyles Of Health And Sustainability”) – this consumer group represents the people with a strong interest in health and environmental issues in their lifestyle. This percent is huge if we are to compare it to the other super-nations of the world.

The Japanese alcohol consumption (surce: National Tax Administration Agency, 2005) puts beer in the first place (71,6%), sake (12,8%), Shochu (7,5%) while the wine is only 1,8%.
One thing is for sure – there is a big appetite for modern wine – Wine Sales Ranking (Monthly POS Data) show Mercian, Bon Rouge Box (Sukoyaka Wine, red, full body, carton package 1,8L) in the first place. As a personal note, the bag-in-box and the carton packaging for wines seem to become very trendy all over the world. The Italians don’t agree with this types of packing and I have to agree with them since I love the 720ml bottles.

Back to Japan, there seems to be a growing preference among Japanese females for the Italian foods and wines – I guess Italy is considered very romantic but this insight is worth noticing. Last but not least, Japanese who drink wine frequently have a deep knowledge about wine and are selective about the wine quality and the wine producers all over the world should know that entering the Japanese market it’s very easy.

While talking to my Japanese friend, we came upon some productive ideas and I hope he’ll remember them when reading this post 🙂