Japan Consumer Goods Top Trends
This is an analysis of the top trends that are expected to continue into 2023 based on the 30 best-selling products in 2022 report by Nikkei Trendy.
Every December, Nikkei Trendy, a Japanese monthly magazine that evaluates new consumer goods, services, and trends, publishes an end of year report of the thirty best-selling products of the year. For U.S. consumer goods and services companies interested in selling in Japan it is important to understand local consumer attitudes and interests that drive these products and services to inclusion on the list. Here is an analysis of the top trends for 2022 that are expected to continue into 2023:
Health and Wellness: The top selling product for 2022 from Nikkei Trendy was Yakult 1000, a probiotic beverage that claims to help reduce stress and enhance sleep quality. The drink was so popular that “Yakult 1000” also made the top ten list of trending keywords on Japanese social media in 2022. Overall, products that claim to help improve sleep, health, and nutrition dominated the Nikkei Trendy list, including healthy snack foods and high-quality quick meals like crispy mushrooms, instant curry rice, and vegetable meals. Supplements that claim to help improve recovery from and prevention of fatigue ranked in the middle of the list, and earplugs that not only block out noise, but also warm the ears to promote relaxation and easy sleep also made the list this year.
Sustainability: Sustainable Development Goals, or “SDGs” were popular across Japan in 2022, and consumers showed concern about the environment and prevention of food-waste through their purchasing decisions. Products that aim to save energy and reduce plastic waste, such as cooling neck rings made of phase change (PCM) materials were popular in the summer, reusable water bottles suitable for carbonated beverages, and the Nissan Sakura and Mitsubishi eK Cross Electric Vehicles were included on the list for 2022. “Temaedori,” which refers to a movement to reduce food waste by purchasing food products close to their sell-by date for immediate consumption also ranked as one of the top ten list of trending keywords on Japanese social media in 2022
Thrift and Savings: Due to Covid-19 related travel restrictions, a weak Japanese yen compared to the U.S. dollar, and rising inflation, products that helped users to save time, energy, money and labor were best sellers this year. Camping holidays made a comeback in Japan, and high quality but affordable outdoor equipment by Workman was included on Nikkei Trendy’s list for 2022. P&G’s Febreze Bath Mildew Resistant spray, a new anti-mold bathroom cleaner that works faster than traditional Japanese smoking solutions, and Kao’s Bath Magiclean Air Jet, a detergent that cleans bathrooms without the need for scrubbing, were both in the top thirty selling products. In the beauty and apparel industries, Yolu hair nighttime treatment that repairs damage while the user sleeps made the list, and the fast-fashion eCommerce platform Shein also ranked on the list for its affordable apparel and fashion accessories.
1980s/1990s Nostalgia: Games and entertainment from the 1980s and 1990s made a comeback in 2022. This movement, known as “Heisei Retro” in Japan, means that younger generations are showing a preference for items popular in the early to mid Heisei period (1989 – 2010) including as cassette tapes, film cameras, and loose-fitting socks. As a result, a number of hybrid analog-digital devices, including a “smart” version of the Tamagotchi, a digital pet that trended globally in the 1990s, and an instant camera with classical analog look that offers 100 lens and film effects made the Nikkei Trendy list this year. The 2022 film sequel to the 1986 American fight-pilot drama “Top Gun” and the latest in a series of “One Piece” films based on 1990s Japanese manga comics were the top films of the year included on the list.
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