Summer heat drives meat demand in Japan

26 August 2015

Summer in Japan is traditionally a low meat consumption period, however the extreme heat didn't stop meat loving consumers this year. In fact, meat featured dishes in the foodservice sector performed strongly in July, in addition to improved livestock product sales at supermarkets.

According to data released by the Japan Foodservice Association, yakiniku (Japanese/Korean style barbecue) restaurant sales during the month increased by 12% year-on-year, an ongoing growth since March 2012. The western style family restaurants – commonly featuring steaks as well as ‘hamburg’ meatball dishes – also performed well, registering a 4% increase from last year. Hot but otherwise stable weather and improving consumer sentiment are likely to have contributed to positive results for operators, including the Japanese style fast food (gyudon beef bowl), dining restaurants and noodle outlets.

The yakiniku sector is the largest destination for the Australian and US beef offal in Japan, while other outlets use a range of imported beef including Australian manufacturing beef, US and Australian briskets and loin cuts.

In the retail sector, the Japan Chain Stores Association reported a 4% year-on-year sales growth of livestock products among member stores. The Japanese supermarkets are the main customer of Australian chilled grainfed beef.

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