Japan Cheese Market – Industry Analysis, Forecasts and Opportunity Assessment (2016-2023)

Report on Japan Cheese Market – Industry Analysis, Forecasts and Opportunity Assessment (2016-2023)

Introduction to Japan Cheese Market

Japanese have only recently begun including cheese to their cuisine but the demand for cheese has been steadily increasing. The increasing demand for light snacks that Japanese people can eat while drinking alcohol is mainly the reason contributing to the increasing growth of cheese market in Japan. Major Japanese Cheese Manufacturers have been actively spreading the idea among consumers that cheese goes well with alcohol. Cheese consumption in Japan is around 2 Kg per person per year, which is less compared to various other Western countries. However, the demand is way more than local production, Japan being one the largest importer of cheese in the world.


In the past, market for cheese was largely under-developed, compared to western countries as it did not have any special place in Japanese traditional diet. Large amount of cheese products were imported in 1964 Tokyo Olympics for western tourists, this was when Japan was exposed mainly to Pizza with melted cheese on it top. After that people started having cheese as a part of cheese-cake, pizza and even started enjoying eating cheese on its own. The globalization and Westernization of Japanese diet and the perception of eating cheese with alcohol was largely the reason for its increased growth.

Cheese Market in Japan is projected to reach JPY 478.8 billion by 2022, with a value CAGR of 4%. The domestic use of cheese is also increasing as people are becoming health aware of cheese and its benefits. Recent research showed that constituents of cheese helped to prevent cancer and other lifestyle diseases. If the health benefits and nutrition are properly publicised, there is a good future of cheese in a country like Japan.


Japan relies mostly on imports from other countries for its cheese demand. About 80 percent of cheese consumption is from imports. It imported around 1.16 Billion USD worth of cheese which comprises around 3.9% of global cheese imports in 2017. Major countries it imports cheese from are United States, Australia, New Zealand and European Countries. More than 50 percent of the cheese consumption is processed cheese and 35% of the imported natural cheese is used for domestic production of processed cheese.

Australia and New Zealand are the dominant cheese importing countries, comprising 75 percent of Japan’s Cheese Imports. United States has a share of around 15-20 percent of Japanese Cheese Market. In fact, Cheese is the biggest dairy produce to Japan by United States. In 2014, Japan imported more than 50,000 metric tons of cheese. Majority of the cheese imported is Cheddar which goes into making of processed cheese, Other variety like Mozzarella and shredded blends are used in pizza etc.


Dairy farming is very important part of Japanese Agriculture. Japan has a number of Dairy farms in the entire country. One of the most famous one being Hokkaido where cheese farming began 140 years ago. Its cool climate and vast farmland is majorly the reason why it is primary area for dairy farming. There is also the famous Furano Cheese Factory that lets visitors observe cheese production process from behind windows.


Major players in Japan’s Cheese Market are Meiji and Megmilk Snow Brand. They have been manufacturing cheese since early 1930s. They manufacture cheese such as String and Camembert, as well as processed cheese, custom made for Japanese cuisine.

Megmilk Snow Brand is the leader in the cheese Market and maintained its position with a retail share of 27% in 2017. It offers a wide variety of cheese types including cheese with fortified Calcium, Cheese with reduced salt and a number of other artificially processed as well as natural cheese products. Company successfully attracted a lot of younger kids by introducing more than 140 recipes for it’s 6P brand using various fun shapes like UFOs, toy poodles using a number of mediums, like internet and television.

Recently, Meiji is working on adding a new wing to its Tokachi plant in Hokkaido, Japan, to increase its production of Camembert by 50 percent to 3000 metric tons annually. It also announced that it will make its production chain more effective in response to rising cheese demand in Japan.

In addition to big players, Japan also has a number of small artisan cheese manufacturers under Cheese Professional Association of Japan.


The report contains comprehensive analysis on

  • Cheese Market Current Trends
  • Technology used and genetically modified rice
  • Cheese Market Drivers, Restraints and Opportunities
  • Cheese Market Segmentation
  • Competition from producers within and imports
  • Geographical analysis of Cheese production
  • Strategic Key Players

This report is an elaborate aggregation of primary inputs from industry experts and participants across the supply chain. It provides in-depth market segmentation that is derived from extensive product mapping exercises, macro-economic factors and other qualitative and quantitative insights. The impact of all such factors are delivered across multiple market segments and geographies.

Report Highlights

  • Detailed Historical Overview (Market Origins, Product Launch Timeline, etc.)
  • Consumer and Pricing Analysis
  •  Market dynamics of the industry
  • In-depth Market Segmentation
  • Historical and Projected Market Sizing in terms of volume and value
  • Recent market trends and Impact Factors
  • R&D Status and Technology Overview


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