Sweet biscuit market in Japan offers opportunities

THE sweet biscuit market in Japan is forecasted to grow over the next five years, as more manufacturers are focusing on health-oriented and functional products.

The Euromonitor Digest, the online publication of the Export Marketing Bureau of the Department of Trade and Industry, said these healthier biscuits often have the Food with Functional Claims label to better communicate their health benefits to consumers.

“Vitamins, probiotics and dietary fiber, especially digestion-resistant dextrin, are commonly used in such biscuits,” it said.

The report said gamma-aminobutyric acid featured in a number of biscuit products with the positioning of reducing high blood pressure and relaxing emotional tension.

“Low carbohydrate biscuits with soy powder and bran powder have also become popular,” it said, citing manufacturer Ezaki Glico that expanded the range of its Sunao biscuits brand, which contains 50 percent less sugar, with the introduction of a lemon flavor product in 2019.

Product innovation within sweet biscuits is generally limited to new flavors and the category faces considerable competition from a broad range of other snack-orientated products, as the premiumization trend in sweet biscuits is becoming less prominent, it added.

“Premium biscuits containing high-end ingredients, which once drove up overall sales in sweet biscuits, are becoming less prominent at retailers and innovation has slowed significantly,” it said.

The Euromonitor Digest further said consumers consumed more biscuits than usual during hot summer weather, as they turn to products that are lighter and moister when they stay inside particularly amid high temperatures.

“As a result of the increase in at-home consumption, larger packs of biscuits sold particularly well,” it said. (Philexport News and Features)