Japan update – McDonald’s on recovery path

30 September 2015

The Japanese arm of the hamburger giant, McDonald’s – one of the largest single users of Australian beef globally – registered its first improvement in sales in August after 19 months of negative performance. Still cautious about the recovery, the McDonald’s website states that it will continue to improve its product and service offering for customers.


  • McDonalds’ positive turnaround (a 2.7% increase in sales since last August) underpinned an increase in overall fast food (FF) sales in Japan (up 5.7%) during the month, as illustrated in Figure 1, with the Japanese style fast food (mostly gyudon beef rice bowl) also recording strong growth (10% higher than last year).
  • Yakiniku (Japanese/Korean style tabletop barbecue) demand remained robust, with the category sales lifting 7.2% during the month, an ongoing year-on-year growth since March 2012 (data by the Japan Foodservice Association).



  • Meat sales during August were up 3% from last year, with key proteins (beef, pork and chicken) seeing steady demand. Delicatessen sales grew by 8%, with more households opting to buy cooked meals rather than doing so at home, particularly during summer (data by the Japan Chain Stores Association).

Convenience stores

  • Sales of fresh foods (includes bento box, salads, delicatessen, desserts and fresh dairy products) increased 4% on last August, while spend per customer for all items remained steady (up 0.05%)

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