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Commodity Innovation Series - Snapshot of Opportunities in Japan's Blueberry Sector

May 2017

Commodity Innovation Series - Snapshot of Opportunities in Japan's Blueberry Sector (PDF Version, 350KB) | Help with downloadable formats

Market trends

Japan is the third largest importer of fresh blueberries and cranberries in Asia Pacific

Blueberries in Bulk

Canada was Japan's fourth largest supplier of blueberries and cranberries in 2016

Japanese imports of blueberries/cranberries (Harmonized system 081040)
Country Imports (%)
United States 39
Mexico 33
Chile 25
Canada 2
Poland 1
Korea 1
New Zealand 1
Canadian blueberry exports to Japan, 2011-2015
Type Exports (%)
Fresh wild 0
Fresh cultivated 2
Frozen wild 74
Frozen cultivated 24

98% of Japan's blueberry imports from Canada in 2015 were frozen

Blueberries as a ingredient

Japan's innovation in food has produced blueberry gummies containing collagen and vitamin c, that claim to support beauty from within

Japanese companies are launching an average of 130 blueberry products per year

Japan's top companies to launch blueberry products from 2012 to 2016
Company Number of products launched
Lawson 35
Meiji 35
Aeon 32
Ohayo Dairy Products 29
Ito En 24

Growing interest in naturally healthy foods

Growing claims:

  1. No Additives/Preservatives
  2. Low/No/Reduced Sugar
  3. Beauty Benefits
  4. Low/No/Reduced Sodium
  5. Low/No/Reduced Allergen

Declining claims:

  1. Low/No/Reduced Fat
  2. Low/No/Reduced Calorie
  3. Vitamin/Mineral Fortified
  4. High/Added Fiber
  5. Wholegrain

Increasing focus on convenient packaging

Top package type:

  1. Tub
  2. Flexible
  3. Carton
  4. Bottle
  5. Flexible stand-up pouch

Top packaging material:

  1. Plastic unspecified
  2. Board plastic lined
  3. Metallised film
  4. Plastic polypropylene (PP)
  5. Plastic polyethylene terephthalate (PET)

Tenth largest innovative blueberry market in the world

Rating scale: Description of this image follows.
Product innovation rating scale
Innovation Criteria United States Canada Germany United Kingdom South Korea France Australia China Italy Japan
Relaunch 6 7 4 6 3 8 6 5 5 7
New product 15 14 17 15 18 14 16 16 16 14
Product line diversity 14 11 12 10 10 8 8 9 8 10
Health and wellness claims 20 19 17 19 17 17 17 15 16 11
Rating scale: Excellent (20-17), Very good (16-13), Good (12-9), Fair (8-5), Low (4-0)

87.7% of products launched were within the food category, while 7.4% were drinks and 4.9% were pet food

Factors of consideration

Recommendation for entry


How we can help

We offer multiple programs and services to help you achieve your international business goals, such as the Agri-Food Trade Service, AgriMarketing Program, and Canada Brand. International Trade Commissioners are also an excellent point of contact for export advice and can provide Canadian industry with on-the-ground expertise regarding market potential, current conditions, and local business contacts.

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For more information on opportunities in Japan or to join our distribution list, contact Single Window at

Find out about our programs, services and tools to support your exporting efforts. Exporting from Canada.

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