By Melissa Francis
Yes, it’s that time of year once again. Valentines Day in Japan spells out a craving for all things chocolate. In particular, Japanese women have long been attracted to the idea of giving thoughtful homemade gifts for those they care about. And this is strongly reflected in media portrayals of Valentines Day in Japan. But which key trends being favoured by consumers this year?
Valentines Day in Japan
First of all, in the UK the top categories for Valentines Day gifts are meals out and romantic getaway experiences. These were closely followed by flowers in third place and clothing / lingerie in fourth. Quite simply, there just isn’t the same emphasis on chocolates here, although they do appear to enjoy some degree of popularity. Poland saw the highest year-on-year increase in Valentine’s-related sales with a boost of 126% over and above what was spent in 2018, with almost 60% of locals planning to spend an equivalent of between $12-$76 USD on gifts in 2020.
Every year, leading confectionery producer Meiji releases a forecast of their Valentine’s trend predictions. These are largely based on feedback from interviews with Japanese consumers. This time round, Meiji conducted the survey among 2000 people aged between 15 and 74, ensuring a broad insight into their preferences.
Meiji’s top 5 Valentines Day in Japan predictions
“Thanks” chocolates will be more in demand than “Giri” (obligatory) chocolates – expressing gratitude to friends in particular.
- Average spend on chocolate gifts for Valentine’s in Japan will increase by 200 JPY, with women in their 20s likely to fork out the most—around 5,552 JPY ($50 USD).
Since Valentines Day falls on a Friday this year, teenagers and those in their 20s are likely to stay at home to celebrate by hosting Chocopa (chocolate parties). The hashtag ＃チョコパなう (chocopa now) is one related trending term.
“Low GI” gifts. Unlike many other countries, Valentines Day in Japan isn’t only about showing affection toward romantic partners, it’s also about celebrating with friends and family. As such, Meiji believes that there will be a stronger emphasis on choosing healthier gifts. This is backed up by half of the women surveyed who responded that they would look for healthy options for their father.
Japanese teenagers are most likely to give chocolates to their father for Valentines, and 56% said they would make these chocolate gifts from scratch.
Meiji also runs a website called Choco Recipe, which takes visitors step-by-step through recipes that feature chocolate.
Interested in understanding more about how to create appeal among Japanese consumers with limited-time or seasonal offerings? Get in touch to discuss how your brand could boost visibility using a carefully considered marketing strategy.