A very steamy summer, with above average temperatures nationally, had a big influence on Japanese consumption trends during August. Retail food sales declined by 3.1% year-on-year, as consumers ate out more often, preferring a quick meal at a causal eatery or cold drinks at an outdoor venue.
The monthly report from the Japan Chain Stores Association noted on a decline in sales of livestock products during the month (3.9% lower from a year ago), reflecting the overall decline in food sales (down 3.1%). As expected with the hot weather, demand for ice-creams and beverages increased.
On the other hand, the foodservice sector registered a better month, with all categories showing steady or improved results compared with last year (Japan Foodservice Association). Yakiniku (Japanese/Korean style barbecue) restaurants continued to recover, lifting both sales and customer numbers by 14.8% and 12.8% respectively, after a very tough 2011.
Pubs and beer gardens also experienced strong year-on-year sales growth (up 7.9%), as consumers were more eager to take advantage of hot weather.
Japan’s yakiniku restaurants are major outlets for Australia’s beef offal exports, while many beer gardens offer Australian lamb barbecue (Genghis Khan) to complement cold beverages.
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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