Total volume sales in the Japan sugar production market and sweeteners industry are projected to decline at a CAGR of -2% over the forecast period. Sugar and sweeteners will remain a staple product in the Japanese diet. Whilst the increasing use of sugar in many baking recipes will support stronger demand, the declining population and concerns of health will largely be behind the medium-term declines predicted for the category. Consequently, there are strong opportunities for natural sweeteners that have very low calorie levels such as stevia.
Whilst Japanese do not commonly use sugar as an addition to hot drinks, as an ingredient in cooking both sweet and savoury items as well as for desserts is common. Sugar has also benefited from the long-running boom of bakery products and as such the decline in sugar consumption has been lower than what might normally have been expected.
In keeping with health and wellness, natural and even organic sugars and sweeteners have also gained popularity as Japanese consumers have become more concerned about what they consume. That said, low-calorie alternatives have also made more of a mainstream appearance; stevia for example has gained more mainstream acceptance in Japan as understanding of the ingredient has widened.
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