At a Glance: Japan's Beverage Market - a Brief Comparison

15 November 2021

It is easy to fall into the trap of believing Japan and Australia’s beverage markets behave the same way. Japanese brands such as Asahi and Tiger have huge popularity among Australians, leading consumers to believe that beer must be Japan’s largest market (which is not actually the case). There are however many nuances both in drink preferences as well as drinking patterns that differentiate the two countries a lot. This article provides a brief overview of the Japanese market as well as some comparisons to the Australian beverage market. For more info and a more detailed market analysis of the Japanese beverage market, please click here

Consumer Markets - Comparison

Japan’s Revenue from alcoholic drinks alone amounts 108 billion USD in 2021 alone. The market is expected to grow annually by 7.81%. China, the largest alcohol industry in the world for comparison, totalled 311 billion USD in revenue from 2021. However, in terms of revenue per capita Japan almost double’s China in consumption with a per person revenue of $857.27 USD (China’s per person revenue in 2021 was 446.23 USD).

The most popular alcoholic beverage in Japan is spirits, making up for a market volume of 59.898 billion USD (~55%). On top of this, Japan’s two major imports include both whisky and beer, which presents a gap in the market which Australian beverage producers can fill.

Due to Australia’s close geographical proximity, an opportunity is presented to high-quality Australian beverage producers to gain a new sales channel for their products. 

As Japan’s drinking culture is becoming more and more reserved as opposed to social, a majority of alcohol is now consumed from home, with the gap becoming higher and higher each year. It is forecasted that by 2025 only 29% of all alcohol consumption will take place in an out-of-home settings (e.g., bars/restaurants). 

Regulation Differences

Unlike Australia, the legal age of drinking in Japan is twenty rather than eighteen. Alcoholic beverages are also not strictly limited to being sold at liquor stores. Most alcohol is purchased from supermarkets and convenience stores, some of which are open 24/7. Alcohol can even be purchased from dedicated vending machines as well, although this is more popular in larger cities such as Osaka and Tokyo.

An import license is not required to import products to Japan. Instead, there are particular requirements and documentation necessary to regulate the process

What this means for you as an Australian beverage producer?

The Bevo Shelves Vision

Our vision at Bevo Shelves is that businesses around the world are provided with top-quality beverages that they can be proud of, and ensuring that distance does not stop our beverage producers’ products to be enjoyed anywhere in the world. 

With our platform, we allow businesses to buy and sell high-quality products with just a few clicks. For buyers, our goal is to make the process of ordering as streamlined as possible to ensure there are no issues delivering the product to your business’ doorstep. For sellers, we provide a suite of tools, analytics and professional insights which allow you to pinpoint exactly the where, what, and why of your products’ demand. 

More info

For a more detailed analysis of the Japanese market and more seller’s information on additional markets please create an account for your business by clicking here and view our Japanese market insights here