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Sector Trend Analysis – Meat trends in Japan

June 2020

Executive summary

With a population of 127 million, Japan is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean with dense cities and mountainous national parks. Traditionally, Japanese people have been consumers of seafood, but meat consumption has increased gradually over recent years, especially among the younger generations.

Despite Japan's rapidly aging and declining population, the Japanese meat industry is expected to experience growing sales due to the ongoing westernization of the typical Japanese diet. It is expected that young Japanese people will continue to regularly consume meat as a staple food and will follow an increasingly modern and less traditional diet. The anticipated shortage in the supply of fish and seafood, leading to higher prices for these products over the forecast period (2020-2021), may influence consumers to substitute fish with meat. Older generations show a tendency to continue with their meat diet as they age. Other reasons for a decline in seafood consumption are the younger generations' lack of knowledge and skills to cook seafood at home, and the price difference between meat and seafood.

In 2019, in terms of retail sales value, the top three categories of meat were pork (US$10.9 billion), chicken (US$7.9 billion) and beef (US$5.5 billion). Japan was ranked the world's second largest meat importer (US$10.8 billion) after China (US$18.8 billion),

Canada was the third largest meat supplier to Japan in 2019, exporting US$1.5 billion, or 13.7% of the total world meat supply (US$10.8 billion), to Japan. Canada's meat supply to Japan had a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.1% from 2015 to 2019.

In 2019, Canada exported meat to the world at a value of US$5.6 billion. Japan was Canada's second largest market (US$1.3 billion, 23.4 % share) after the United States (US$2.6 billion, 46.7% share). In the last two years (2018 and 2019), Japan was Canada's largest pork destination.

Japan's meat market

Japan is an island country surrounded by oceans, and its population is well known for its fish and seafood consumption. Although eating meat was previously considered to be unfavourable for maintaining good health, Japanese consumers have slowly come to accept the idea that high protein intake is important for maintaining health and that meat is a great source of protein, as well as iron, vitamins and amino acids. Japanese people are increasingly consuming meat, and this trend is expected to continue.

It is relatively cheaper to import certain products, like beef, than to rely on domestic supply. This has increased demand for beef and veal. In 2019, beef and veal recorded solid growth in total volume terms, driven by the decline in the category's average unit price. The cheaper price was partially due to the signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) on December 30, 2018, which saw reduced tariffs on imported beef from CPTPP countries to Japan. Meat is projected to see slower growth over the forecast period than was seen over the review period in total volume terms. This is due in part to demographic factors with Japan's further decrease in total population.Footnote 1

Despite Japan's rapidly aging and declining population, the Japanese meat production industry is expected to experience growing sales due to the ongoing westernization of the typical Japanese diet. In particular, it is expected that young Japanese consumers will continue to consume meat as a staple food and will follow an increasingly modern and less traditional diet. The anticipated shortage in the supply of fish and seafood, leading to higher prices for these products over the forecast period (2020 to 2021), may influence consumers to substitute fish with meat. In addition to younger generations, older generations show a tendency to continue with their meat diet as they age. Other reasons for a decline in seafood consumption are the younger generations' lack of knowledge and skills to cook seafood at home, and the price difference between meat and seafood.

In 2019, total food retail sales value reached US$172.9 billion. From 2016 to 2019, the top two retail sales among all food categories were bakery and cereals (US$24.7 billion in 2019) and meat (US$24.4 billion). They grew 1.6% and 1.3% respectively over the past four years. In 2019, bakery and cereals had a market share of 14.3%, while meat represented a 14.1% share. Both retail sales together occupied almost one-third of the total market in Japan. Fish and seafood accounted for 5.5% of the market share in 2019. Japanese consumers spent almost three times more on meat than on fish and seafood.

Food retail sales value by category, in US$ millions
Category 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2016-2019 Share % in 2019
Total 160,710.4 164,760.1 168,576.8 172,861.0 1.8 100
Bakery and cereals 23,216.4 23,635.5 24,135.7 24,742.4 1.6 14.3
Meat 23,228.0 23,722.9 24,002.5 24,423.8 1.3 14.1
Dairy and soy food 17,704.0 18,566.7 19,389.8 20,259.3 3.4 11.7
Prepared meals 17,873.3 18,530.0 19,065.6 19,750.3 2.5 11.4
Seasonings, dressings and sauces 14,673.2 15,046.4 15,479.7 15,943.6 2.1 9.2
Other dried food 14,593.6 14,486.7 14,270.7 14,119.5 −0.8 8.2
Fish and seafood 8,334.4 8,704.1 9,116.0 9,584.4 4.8 5.5
Savory snacks 8,391.4 8,677.3 8,956.4 9,121.7 2.1 5.3
Confectionery 7,620.4 7,669.5 7,770.6 7,883.7 0.9 4.6
Pasta and noodles 6,030.4 6,182.7 6,380.9 6,536.5 2.0 3.8
Ice cream 4,657.4 4,752.4 4,848.0 4,917.1 1.4 2.8
Savory and deli foods 4,301.8 4,371.4 4,466.7 4,567.7 1.5 2.6
Oils and fats 3,121.2 3,190.2 3,260.0 3,332.7 1.7 1.9
Other frozen food 2,564.6 2,677.2 2,726.0 2,801.9 2.2 1.6
Soups 2,137.9 2,239.9 2,361.5 2,484.9 3.8 1.4
Syrups and spreads 1,112.2 1,122.2 1,137.5 1,155.1 1.0 0.7
Other canned food 958.0 984.3 998.2 1,015.6 1.5 0.6
Meat substitutes 192.2 201.0 211.1 220.9 3.5 0.1

Source: GlobalData, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Note: Food retail here excludes sales in the foodservice sector.

In 2019, in terms of retail sales value, the top three categories of meat were pork (US$10.9 billion), chicken (US$7.9 billion) and beef (US$5.5 billion). Pork grew at a CAGR of 1.3%, chicken at 2.7% and beef at 1.0% from 2016 to 2019.

Historical retail sales value of meat by category, in US$ millions, 2016 to 2019
Meat 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2016-2019
Pork 10,518.2 10,668.9 10,783.4 10,934.8 1.3
Chicken 7,343.7 7,622.1 7,741.8 7,952.2 2.7
Beef 5,305.1 5,370.6 5,414.8 5,472.8 1.0
Lamb 145.1 146.5 148.1 150.1 1.1
Turkey 113.2 116.4 118.4 121.2 2.3
Other 21.5 22.0 22.3 22.8 1.9

Source: GlobalData, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

In 2019, in terms of retail sales volume, the top three categories of meat were chicken (525.2 million kilograms), pork (485.7 million kilograms) and beef (277.0 million kilograms). Since chicken is less expensive than pork, this led chicken to surpass pork in retail sale volume. Furthermore, given that chicken is regarded as a healthy low-fat choice compared to beef and pork, its consumption has been on rise for the past ten years.

Historical retail sales volume of meat by category, in million kilograms, 2016 to 2019
Meat 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2016-2019
Chicken 502.8 512.4 518.1 525.2 1.5
Pork 476.8 480.7 483.4 485.7 0.6
Beef 276.4 276.7 277.2 277.0 0.1
Turkey 12.9 13.1 13.3 13.5 1.5
Lamb 5.9 6.0 6.1 6.1 0.5
Other 2.5 2.6 2.6 2.6 1.1

Source: GlobalData, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Breakdown of retail sales of pork, chicken and beef

Pork

Fresh pork was the top seller in retail value (US$6.1 billion in 2019) and volume (299.7 million kilograms) for the past four years (2016-2019), growing slightly at a CAGR of 0.9% and 0.4% respectively. Chilled raw packaged pork followed, reaching sales of US$1.8 billion and 78.5 million kilograms in 2019.

Breakdown of retail sales value of pork in US$ millions, 2016 to 2019
Pork category 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2016-2019
Fresh meat (counter) 5,896.8 5,938.9 5,978.5 6,054.9 0.9
Chilled raw packaged meat - whole cuts 1,672.9 1,726.8 1,769.9 1,805.2 2.6
Chilled raw packaged meat - processed 1,479.8 1,508.5 1,524.6 1,545.2 1.5
Cooked meats - counter 607.2 615.0 619.2 626.6 1.1
Ambient meat 288.7 296.1 299.4 302.2 1.5
Frozen meat 292.5 294.7 298.1 300.5 0.9
Cooked meats - packaged 182.1 189.3 192.9 198.1 2.8
Other 98.20 99.70 100.70 102.10 0.01
Total 10,518.2 10,668.9 10,783.4 10,934.8 1.3

Source: GlobalData, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Breakdown of retail sales volume of pork in million kilograms, 2016 to 2019
Pork category 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2016-2019
Fresh meat (counter) 296.1 297.4 298.6 299.7 0.4
Chilled raw packaged meat - whole cuts 74.3 76.6 77.5 78.5 1.8
Chilled raw packaged meat - processed 49.5 49.4 49.6 49.5 0.0
Cooked meats - packaged 23.8 24.5 24.9 25.2 2.0
Frozen meat 14.3 14.1 14.1 14.0 −0.5
Cooked meats - counter 12.7 12.7 12.7 12.7 0.0
Ambient meat 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 0.0
Total 476.8 480.7 483.4 485.7 0.6

Source: GlobalData, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Chicken

Fresh chicken was the largest category in value (US$4.5 billion in 2019) and volume (388.2 million kilograms in 2019) for the past four years (2016-2019), growing at a CAGR of 1.5% and 1.0% respectively. , followed by processed chilled chicken, reaching sales of US$1.1 billion and 38.8 million kilograms in 2019.

Breakdown of retail sales of chicken in US$ millions, 2016 to 2019
Chicken category 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2016-2019
Fresh meat (counter) 4,323.1 4,371.1 4,444.0 4,521.7 1.5
Chilled raw packaged meat - processed 935.1 1,027.1 1,038.2 1,084.4 5.1
Cooked meats - counter 709.2 741.1 746.2 765.3 2.6
Frozen meat 525.3 601.6 610.9 648.1 7.3
Chilled raw packaged meat - whole cuts 351.0 362.5 373.5 386.5 3.3
Cooked meats - packaged 278.7 284.1 291.2 305.0 3.1
Ambient meat[1] 152.8 163.6 165.5 167.0 3.0
Other 68.6 71.1 72.3 74.2 2.0
Total 7,343.7 7,622.1 7,741.8 7,952.2 2.7

Source: GlobalData, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

1: shelf-stable and safely stored at room temperature in a sealed container

Breakdown of retail sales of chicken in million kilograms, 2016 to 2019
Chicken category 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2016-2019
Fresh meat (counter) 376.4 380.2 384.4 388.2 1.0
Chilled raw packaged meat - processed 35.3 37.7 37.8 38.8 3.3
Chilled raw packaged meat - whole cuts 31.6 32.0 32.7 33.3 1.8
Frozen meat 18.2 20.2 20.3 21.1 5.0
Cooked meats - packaged 17.7 17.9 18.3 18.9 2.2
Cooked meats - counter 16.0 16.5 16.5 16.8 1.5
Ambient meat 7.7 8.0 8.1 8.1 1.8
Total 502.8 512.4 518.1 525.2 1.5

Source: GlobalData, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Beef

Fresh beef was the top seller in retail value (US$2.6 billion in 2019) and volume (156.7 million kilograms) for the past four years (2016-2019), with a CAGR of 0.3% and −0.2% respectively. Chilled raw packaged beef followed, reaching sales of US$1.5 billion and 76.3 million kilograms in 2019.

Breakdown of retail sales value of beef in US$ millions, 2016 to 2019
Beef category 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2016-2019
Fresh meat (counter) 2,597.8 2,600.2 2,607.4 2,623.8 0.3
Chilled raw packaged meat - whole cuts 1,438.3 1,470.3 1,494.2 1,514.8 1.7
Chilled raw packaged meat - processed 599.7 618.3 623.4 635.0 1.9
Cooked meats - packaged 245.5 248.2 251.3 254.4 1.2
Cooked meats - counter 140.8 142.6 143.6 145.7 1.1
Frozen meat 120.9 125.6 127.6 130.2 2.5
Ambient meat 112.6 115.4 116.7 117.8 1.5
Other 49.50 50.10 50.50 51.10 1.1
Total 5,305.1 5,370.6 5,414.8 5,472.8 1.0

Source: GlobalData, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Breakdown of retail sales volume of beef in million kilograms, 2016 to 2019
Beef category 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2016-2019
Fresh meat (counter) 157.5 157.4 156.9 156.7 −0.2
Chilled raw packaged meat - whole cuts 75.8 75.8 76.5 76.3 0.2
Chilled raw packaged meat - processed 14.7 15.0 15.1 15.2 0.9
Cooked meats - packaged 11.0 11.0 11.1 11.1 0.3
Frozen meat 7.6 7.8 7.8 7.9 1.3
Cooked meats - counter 6.5 6.5 6.5 6.5 0.2
Ambient meat 3.2 3.3 3.3 3.3 0.7
Total 276.4 276.7 277.2 277.0 0.1

Source: GlobalData, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Japanese consumption of pork, chicken, beef, turkey and lamb has been on the rise. On average, each person consumed about 90 grams of meat every day in 2018,Footnote 2 which corresponds to over 30 kilograms per year. In 2019, per capita expenditure on meat was US$304.7, compared with US$300.1 in 2018.

Per capita expenditure on meat Japan in US$, 2015 to 2019
Category 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2015-2019
Meat 292.2 296.5 297.4 300.1 304.7 1.1

Source: Statista, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Japan's meat trade summary

In 2019, Japan was ranked the world's second largest meat importer (US$10.8 billion), after China (US$18.8 billion). As a supplier, China recorded the highest CAGR of 29.0%, followed by South Korea at 9.2%, Germany at 6.2%, and Japan at 6.0%, from 2015 to 2019. Canada was the 14th largest meat importer in 2019, with negative growth at a CAGR of −4.9% (US$1.8 billion in 2019 from US$2.2 billion in 2015).

Top ten meat importers in the world, in US$ billion, 2015 to 2019
Country 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2015-2019
Reporter's total 108.3 108.9 116.8 120.0 114.7 1.5
China 6.8 10.3 9.5 11.0 18.8 29.0
Japan 8.6 9.1 10.1 10.4 10.8 6.0
United States 9.4 7.9 8.2 8.4 8.8 −1.6
Germany 6.7 7.0 7.7 8.0 7.0 6.2
Hong Kong 5.3 5.8 6.6 6.4 5.4 0.5
United Kingdom 5.9 5.5 5.5 5.9 5.4 −2.1
South Korea 3.7 3.9 4.4 5.1 5.2 9.2
France 4.8 4.6 4.9 5.1 4.9 0.5
Italy 4.9 4.7 5.1 5.2 4.3 1.5
Netherlands 4.7 4.5 4.9 5.1 4.2 3.1
Canada (14th) 2.2 2.0 2.0 1.9 1.8 −4.9

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

By volume, Japan was the second largest meat importer (2.3 million tonnes) globally in 2019, after China (6.0 million tonnes). China's meat imports grew the fastest at a CAGR of 22.0% from 2015 to 2019, followed by Japan at a CAGR of 4.4%.

Top ten meat importers in the world, in millions of tonnes, 2015 to 2019
Country 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2015-2019
Reporter's total 36.8 39.8 39.6 39.4 36.1 −0.5
China 2.7 4.5 3.9 4.1 6.0 22.0
Japan 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.3 4.4
Mexico 2.1 2.2 2.2 2.3 2.2 0.9
Germany 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.2 −2.8
Hong Kong 2.0 2.4 2.4 2.2 2.0 −0.4
United States 1.8 1.7 1.7 1.7 1.7 −2.3
United Kingdom 1.6 1.6 1.6 1.6 1.5 −0.3
Netherlands 1.4 1.6 1.6 1.6 1.4 0.9
Italy 1.6 1.5 1.6 1.6 1.3 −5.4
France 1.4 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.3 −1.8
Canada (18th) 0.53 0.51 0.49 0.49 0.48 −2.5

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Among the top ten meat suppliers to Japan by value, Canada was the third largest supplier in 2019, exporting US$1.5 billion, or 13.7% of the total world meat supply (US$10.8 billion), to Japan. Canada's meat supply to Japan had a CAGR of 14.1% from 2015 to 2019.

Top ten meat suppliers to Japan by value, in US$ millions, 2015 to 2019
Country 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2015-2019
World 8,594.2 9,137.2 10,093.7 10,401.2 10,842.7 6.0
United States 2,598.6 2,856.3 3,213.2 3,372.8 3,280.6 6.0
Australia 1,838.4 1,729.5 1,827.5 2,001.7 2,004.2 2.2
Canada 874.2 1,043.5 1,212.4 1,281.1 1,481.0 14.1
Brazil 996.9 783.1 921.7 770.9 891.3 −2.8
Spain 340.8 447.2 524.6 555.5 615.5 15.9
Mexico 396.0 421.5 470.3 510.4 589.1 10.4
Denmark 478.6 573.7 540.1 515.3 539.2 3.0
Thailand 275.4 302.5 397.9 410.8 361.5 7.0
New Zealand 177.0 190.6 195.2 201.3 218.8 5.4
Netherlands 87.1 122.3 126.6 146.4 169.0 18.0

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Among the top ten meat suppliers to Japan by volume, Canada was the fourth largest supplier in 2019, exporting 318,471 tonnes, or 13.7% of the total world meat supply, to Japan. Canada's meat supply to Japan grew at a CAGR of 11.0% from 2015 to 2019.

Top ten meat suppliers to Japan, in metric tonnes, 2015 to 2019
Country 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2015-2019
World 1,966,216 2,080,801 2,247,737 2,282,075 2,332,431 4.4
United States 497,162 533,518 589,545 592,053 568,418 3.4
Brazil 412,059 417,845 418,605 403,795 427,557 0.9
Australia 324,714 307,337 320,948 347,566 330,950 0.5
Canada 209,417 229,317 273,282 282,539 318,471 11.0
Spain 76,218 91,530 110,232 116,110 127,667 13.8
Thailand 93,941 112,159 130,646 143,172 125,150 7.4
Mexico 85,148 87,167 101,495 107,035 123,297 9.7
Denmark 110,901 119,630 115,874 110,016 110,875 0.0
Netherlands 21,239 26,378 27,936 31,833 35,993 14.1
New Zealand 26,989 27,767 28,590 27,377 30,888 3.4

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

In 2019, Canada exported meat to the world at a value of US$5.6 billion. Japan was Canada's second largest market (US$1.3 billion, 23.4% share) after the United States (US$2.6 billion, 46.7% share). The CAGR for Japan was 13.4%, while the US recorded a low CAGR of 1.7% from 2015 to 2019.

Canada's meat exports to the top ten markets in in US$ millions, 2015 to 2019
Country 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2015-2019 Share % 2019
World 4,583.8 4,699.8 5,012.2 5,103.3 5,619.3 5.2 100
United States 2,453.5 2,418.8 2,457.9 2,493.2 2,627.0 1.7 46.7
Japan 794.5 910.9 1,055.2 1,128.6 1,315.6 13.4 23.4
China 369.8 489.2 492.6 459.0 526.5 9.2 9.4
Mexico 269.6 230.5 238.8 279.9 308.5 3.4 5.5
South Korea 81.5 122.6 125.8 145.8 160.7 18.5 2.9
Hong Kong 113.7 149.9 146.9 150.9 145.1 6.3 2.6
Taiwan 69.8 49.7 110.8 99.6 115.3 13.4 2.1
Philippines 56.2 57.6 99.1 102.2 110.1 18.3 2.0
Vietnam 4.7 3.7 6.9 8.3 27.2 54.8 0.5
Australia 70.7 50.9 46.1 34.1 27.0 −21.4 0.5

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

In the last two years (2018 and 2019), Japan surpassed the U.S. and became Canada's largest pork export (US$1.1 billion) destination. China recorded the highest CAGR of 26.7%, while Japan gained a CAGR of 9.4% from 2015 to 2019.

Canada's pork exports to the top ten countries in US$ millions, 2015 to 2019
Country 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2015-2019
World 2,689.7 2,887.5 3,093.8 2,968.1 3,184.8 4.3
Japan 738.4 811.4 940.6 983.6 1,057.6 9.4
United States 1176.7 1123.8 1112.4 973.3 936.4 −5.6
China 174.0 444.1 427.2 384.4 449.0 26.7
Mexico 147.2 147.7 150.4 193.7 212.5 9.6
South Korea 78.2 89.2 102.7 122.5 128.5 13.2
Philippines 45.2 42.6 72.3 78.3 89.0 18.5
Taiwan 55.2 33.8 75.1 66.1 81.8 10.3
Australia 71.2 51.2 46.7 34.6 27.7 −21.0
New Zealand 23.2 20.3 26.0 24.3 26.7 3.6
Hong Kong 35.9 19.1 15.3 12.8 23.5 −10.1

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Canada's beef exports to the world increased at a CAGR of 8.6% from 2015 to 2019. In 2019, Japan was Canada's second largest beef export destination, at a value of US$267.1 million, with a CAGR of 38.3% from 2015 to 2019. Although Vietnam obtained the highest CAGR of 203.5% for the past five years, the export value (US$6.1 million) remained much lower than Canada's beef exports to the U.S. and Japan.

Canada's beef exports to the top ten countries in US$ millions, 2015 to 2019
Country 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2015-2019
World 1,753.9 1,726.6 1,869.6 2,131.3 2,437.7 8.6
United States 1,236.7 1,277.7 1,379.6 1,574.8 1,766.5 9.3
Japan 73.0 109.0 124.0 165.1 267.1 38.3
Hong Kong 69.8 121.9 123.1 134.8 118.3 14.1
Mexico 122.3 82.8 88.5 86.6 96.5 −5.7
China 195.6 45.5 65.0 74.4 78.2 −20.5
South Korea 3.3 33.6 23.1 23.2 32.3 76.4
Taiwan 1.2 4.2 20.3 17.9 16.4 92.5
United Kingdom 0.0 0.0 0.0 7.2 15.3 111.0
Saudi Arabia 17.3 17.9 6.9 2.6 6.6 −21.4
Vietnam 0.1 1.3 3.0 5.0 6.1 203.5

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Canada's total meat exports to Japan in 2019 were US$1.3 billion. Of that amount, meat of swine, fresh, chilled or frozen, accounted for US$972.5 million, whereas frozen bovine accounted for US$117.3 million.

The top meat products are mainly pork and beef, and their offal. From 2015 to 2019, fresh or chilled bovine gained the highest CAGR of 61.9%, followed by frozen bovine with a CAGR of 42.9%.

Top meat products exported by Canada to Japan, in US$ millions, 2015 to 2019
HS code Description 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2015-2019
02 Total meat 794.5 910.9 1,055.2 1,128.6 1,315.6 13.4
0203 Fresh, chilled or frozen swine 669.4 735.2 860.2 887.9 972.5 9.8
0202 Frozen bovine 28.2 35.5 53.9 75.9 117.3 42.9
0201 Fresh or chilled bovine 13.8 18.3 21.2 42.9 95.1 61.9
0206 Edible offal of bovine animals, swine, sheep, goats, horses, asses, mules or hinnies, fresh, chilled or frozen 41.4 65.2 61.3 59.1 64.8 11.9
0209 Pig fat, free of lean meat, and poultry fat, not rendered or otherwise extracted, fresh, chilled, frozen, salted, in brine, dried or smoked 18.8 32.8 33.7 39.7 42.6 22.8
0205 Meat of horses, asses, mules or hinnies, fresh, chilled or frozen 21.9 23.4 20.9 22.2 22.7 0.9
0210 Meat and edible offal, salted, in brine, dried or smoked; edible flours and meals of meat or meat offal 0.69 0.25 0.46 0.38 0.51 −7.2
0207 Meat and edible offal of fowls of the species gallus domesticus, ducks, geese, turkeys and guinea fowls, fresh, chilled or frozen 0.42 0.29 3.56 0.47 0.05 −41.8

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

In 2019, Canada exported 301,779 tonnes of meat to Japan. Of that total, fresh, chilled or frozen swine accounted for 73.3% (221,252 tonnes). Fresh and chilled bovine gained the highest CAGR, at 61.6% from 2015 to 2019, followed by frozen bovine at a CAGR of 41.3%.

Top meat products exported by Canada to Japan in metric tonnes, 2015 to 2019
HS code Description 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2015-2019
02 Total meat 221,748 231,949 268,815 283,853 301,779 8.0
0203 Fresh, chilled or frozen swine 179,840 179,505 209,422 217,945 221,252 5.3
0202 Frozen bovine 7,599 11,279 16,780 20,312 30,333 41.3
0209 Pig fat, fresh, chilled, frozen, salted, in brine, dried or smoked 18,780 23,442 24,130 25,424 24,159 6.5
0201 Fresh or chilled bovine 1,931 2,648 3,532 6,265 13,158 61.6
0206 Edible offal of bovine animals, swine, sheep, goats, horses, asses, mules or hinnies, fresh, chilled or frozen 9,569 11,208 11,843 11,311 10,291 1.8
0205 Meat of horses, asses, mules or hinnies, fresh, chilled or frozen 3,658 3,714 2,601 2,383 2,444 −9.6
0210 Meat and edible offal, salted, in brine, dried or smoked; edible flours and meals of meat or meat offal 229 39 73 90 107 −17.3
0207 Meat and edible offal of fowls of the species gallus domesticus, ducks, geese, turkeys and guinea fowls, fresh, chilled or frozen 142 114 434 124 35 −29.5

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

E-commerce in Japan

About 90% of the Japanese population is connected to the Internet nowadays. Japan is the world's fourth largest market for online sales revenue in the e-commerce market, expected to reach US$99.1 billion in 2020.

According to Japan's Ministry of Economy report, Japan's top three online retailers in the last few years were Amazon Japan, Rakuten and Yahoo Japan.

Meat distribution channels in Japan

In 2018, hypermarkets and supermarkets were the largest meat distribution channel, at US$15.3 billion with a 63.5% share, followed by food and drink specialists (US$6.99 billion, 29.1% share) and convenience stores

(US$1.4 billion, 6.0% share). It is worth noting that e-retailers are the fifth largest meat distribution channel (US$125.2 million, 0.5% share) and recorded the highest CAGR at 2.4% among all meat distribution channels from 2015 to 2018.

Meat distribution channels in Japan 2015 to 2018, in US$ millions
Channel 2015 2016 2017 2018 CAGR* % 2015-2018 Share % 2018
Hypermarkets and supermarkets 14,582.2 14,651.7 15,032.2 15,252.8 1.5 63.5
Food and drink specialists 6,818.3 6,837.0 6,921.9 6,992.5 0.8 29.1
Convenience stores 1,433.9 1,414.2 1,442.7 1,436.3 0.1 6.0
Cash and carries and warehouse clubs 137.3 138.8 143.2 145.6 2.0 0.6
E-retailers 116.6 117.9 123.1 125.2 2.4 0.5
Others 88.8 68.5 59.8 50.1 −17.4 0.2
Total 23,177.1 23,228.0 23,722.9 24,002.5 1.2 100.0

Source: GlobalData, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Note: Data available until 2018

Opportunities for Canada

The benefits of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)

The CPTPP gives Canadian agriculture and agri-food products preferential market access to key export markets, including Japan. Under the agreement, tariffs will be eliminated or reduced on a wide range of Canadian exports for the agricultural sector, including meat, grains, pulses, maple syrup, wines and spirits, seafood, and other agri-food products.

Japan eliminated tariffs on close to 32% of tariff lines on agriculture and agri-food products after the CPTPP entered into force on December 30, 2018. A further 9% of tariff lines will provide preferential tariff treatment through permanent quotas and country-specific quotas for Canada. The remaining tariff lines will provide tariff elimination or reductions over a period of up to 20 years, or reductions of the in-quota or out-of-quota tariffs. Read the Global Affairs Canada overview of the CPTPP and Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector for more information.

In May 2019, Canada also obtained expanded market access to Japan for beef from cattle older than 30 months. Based on industry estimates, the expanded access announced has the potential to further increase exports of beef by up to 20%.

One of the first steps before entering the market is to determine whether a product is authorized for sale in Japan. Restrictions due to phytosanitary or food safety concerns can prevent a product from being imported. Products must meet Japanese regulations for food ingredients, especially with regard to food additives.

Exporters are strongly recommended to work with the local import agent, the distributor and the end user to make sure the products are in compliance with Japanese regulations and all proper documentation has been completed. For more information, please consult the following resources: Exporting food out of Canada (Canadian Food Inspection Agency), Step-by-Step Guide to Exporting (Trade Commissioner Service of Canada) and Standards and Regulations (Japan External Trade Organization).

Exporters should also determine the import classification and tariff rate for products. The Tariff Finder tool can assist exporters in determining tariff information for specific products and countries where Canada has a free trade agreement. Additionally, Japan Customs has a website for requesting an advance ruling on tariff classifications, which is available to importers and related parties.

FOODEX JAPAN is the largest food and beverage show in Asia, and is an important annual event for Canadian exporters as it brings in key buyers from Japan and Asia. The 2019 show attracted 3,316 exhibitors coming from 94 countries and brought in 85,000 visitors (Source: Japan Management Association).

FOODEX is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's flagship trade shows, with customizable turnkey booths and streamlined access to financial support via the Canada Pavilion Program.

It is worth noting that CanExport provides funding to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to reach export markets and execute strategic marketing projects such as participation in trade shows. Interested Canadian SMEs are encouraged to apply for this funding.

If you have questions about exporting your agriculture or food products, or are looking for support, please contact the Market Access Secretariat, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, at aafc.mas-sam.aac@canada.ca.

Conclusion

The growing demand for meat is due mainly to the ongoing internationalization of the Japanese diet, which has increased the popularity of meat over fish, especially among young Japanese people. Older generations also show a tendency to continue their meat diet as they age. Other reasons for a decline in seafood consumption are the younger generations' lack of knowledge and skills to cook seafood at home, and the price difference between meat and seafood.

The expected shortage in the supply of fish and seafood will most likely lead Japanese consumers to favour meat. The growing popularity of fish and seafood at a global level, especially in Europe, North America and China, is expected to continue, and a shortage in the supply of fish and seafood is expected to occur as the source of these types of food will become limited. There is also a movement towards sustainable fisheries to protect the ocean's natural resources. As a result, the price of fish is expected to increase, and many consumers are expected to prefer meat as a cheaper alternative to seafood.

In 2019, Canada was the third largest supplier of meat to Japan, and was the largest supplier of pork to Japan in 2018 and 2019. Canada still has room to improve by competing with the top two meat suppliers: the United States and Australia.

For more information

International Trade Commissioners can provide Canadian industry with on-the-ground expertise regarding market potential, current conditions and local business contacts, and are an excellent point of contact for export advice.

For additional intelligence on this and other markets, the complete library of Global Analysis reports can be accessed through the International agri-food market intelligence page.

For more information about FOODEX JAPAN 2020, please contact:

Ben Berry, Deputy Director
Trade Show Strategy and Delivery
Agriculture and agri-food Canada
ben.berry@canada.ca

Resources

Sector Trend Analysis – Meat trends in Japan
Global Analysis Report

Prepared by: Hongli Wang, Market Analyst

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (2020).

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