The report: Product Insights: Confectionery in Japan claims that in 2009, Japan ranked fourth in terms of new product launches and fifth in terms of market value in the global confectionery market.
Author of the report, Amit Srivastava told Confectionerynews.com the region is one of the most robust functional food markets in the world, with a range of products available.
According to Datamonitor, factors that contribute to the innovation include a the increasing number of working Japanese men and women who are becoming highly health-conscious, eating healthy foods and engaging in regular exercise.
“There is widespread dread of the metabolic syndrome or ‘metabo’, which connotes lifestyle diseases,” said the market researcher.
There is also a national law which sets the maximum waistline size for middle aged people. Datamonitor said this drives manufacturers to take into consideration these factors, launching products which feature claims such as ‘no sugar’, ‘low fat’ and ‘low calories’.
Japanese functional confectionery products use ingredients such as konjac powder, which swells 200 times in the stomach and prevents overeating, GABA which promotes mental relaxation, CPP-ACP which suppresses loss of minerals from teeth.
China is the only other country that has used Konjac in confectionery products in the last two years, although it has been used in other food categories in Europe and the US.
The analyst said that as the ingredient is already present in these countries, it might make its way into these confectionery markets soon.
GABA is already used in confectionery products in Europe and drink products in Thailand and US.
However, the analyst said that CPP – ACP is currently only used by Cadbury Japan and has not been used by any other countries in any category in the past two years, therefore Srivastava said it was unlikely that the ingredient would branch outside of Japan, at least in the near future.
But although it is booming in terms of innovation, as Japan is already a mature market, the country ranks one of the lowest in terms of growth rates.
The 2009-14 compound annual growth rate for Japan is 1 per cent, compared to 16 per cent for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), one of the world’s fastest growing regions in terms of confectionery.