The steak and hamburgs (steak sized flattened meatball) category is expected to lead the growth in the Japanese family restaurant sector in the coming year, according to a recent marketing study conducted by Fuji Keizai Group.
The report forecasts that the family restaurant market will experience a 7% year-on-year increase in sales during 2012, largely due to the rising popularity of ‘steak and salad bar’ businesses. The increased availability of US steak cuts, ongoing demand for Australian hamburgs, along with restaurants diversifying offers in order to attract customers from all generations underpins the growth.
Diversified marketing includes super-sized steaks, with 150-200 gram steaks regarded as ‘standard’ in Japan. The US beef oriented outlet Cowboy Kazoku extended its one pound (450 gram) Angus steak menu until the end of September – reporting approximately 40% more sales than originally expected (Gaishoku Nippo). The Big Boy chain has launched a similar concept with US sirloins.
The trend of “larger-than-life” steaks originated from Bronco Billy family restaurant, which offers one kilo “super-thick” Australian grainfed steak. Priced at 10,500 yen (A$130), the menu is designed to be shared between three to six people and has been popular among friends and families, according to the company.
Bronco Billy and MLA also recently conducted a joint Australian steak campaign for elders, as part of the senior generation marketing that responds to the changing needs of Japan’s ageing society. The promotion was aimed to increase sales at outlets, educate the elderly customers as to the importance of red meat in their diet, along with surveying their preference/attitude towards Australian beef.