Although traditional local culinary culture remains, Japanese consumers have enjoyed diverse food products which are now available at supermarkets, department stores, and grocers.
Food and Drink in Japan
Japan has high levels of consumption, and food and drink (eating out, at home and take away) makes up a
significant proportion of spending. The market is very sophisticated and ready to appreciate high-quality,
unique products from overseas.
Although traditional local culinary culture remains, Japanese consumers have enjoyed diverse
food products which are now available at supermarkets, department stores, grocers and even
convenience stores. The Japanese also value the country of origin and stories behind products.
Authentic products including black teas, whiskies, biscuits/shortbread and Scottish smoked
salmon have been the most popular British products in the market while olive oils and pasta
sauces, which may not be easily linked to the UK, may find market entry more difficult. The
Japanese also attach significant importance on packaging and presentation. Overseas companies
are sometimes requested to make special arrangements for the Japanese market.
UKTI in Japan has carried out the ?A Taste of Britain? campaign for over five years in order to
introduce a wide range of British products into the market, and in order to change and improve
perceptions of British food amongst Japanese people. The product categories we have found
prospects for include:
? Beverages (cordials and wines)
? Biscuits / snacks / chocolates
? Speciality foods
? Organic foods
? Sausages and bacon
Latest export opportunities ? Food & Drink
Latest export opportunities - Japan
Getting into the market
Trade shows such as Foodex (the largest F&D trade show in Japan where UKTI organises a
national pavilion) www.jma.or.jp/foodex are a useful platform for new companies to find
business partners in Japan. However, tailored services by Overseas Market Introduction Service
(OMIS) would be a more powerful tool to pursue your interest. UKTI in Japan has generated
many new business opportunities for UK suppliers through this service scheme.
In general, any type of food can be imported as long as it has been guaranteed safe for human
consumption. Imported foods must undergo specified procedures at the time of import in order to
verify their safety.
You can find translations of Japanese food-related laws and regulations on the Japan External
Trade Organisation (JETRO) website www.jetro.go.jp/en/reports/regulations/
More about doing business in Japan
Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke
market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market
Introduction Service (OMIS).
To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists
based overseas - or contact your local international trade team.
? Ms Akiko Yanagisawa, British Embassy Tokyo
Tel: +81 (0)3 5211 1154 or email: Akiko.Yanagisawa@fco.gov.uk
Contact your local international trade team
UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to
overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.
Latest events ? Food & Drink
Date: 6-9 March 2012 (this event is held on an annual basis in March)
Website address: www.jma.or.jp/foodex
More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters