, Japan
Source: Calbee website

Calbee’s expansion seeks to counter declining savory snack market in Japan: Analyst

Calbee plans to expand in China and North America.

Japanese snack brand Calbee’s move to expand in China and North America is intended to counter the decline in Japan’s savory snack market, GlobalData reported. 

Calbee plans to invest $1b in the next three years in mergers and acquisitions, equipment upgrades, and automation to build its “Made in Japan” brand in China and North America. 

Calbee holds 16-20% value share in the highly fragmented savory snacks market in Japan.

“The Japanese savory snacks sector slowed down following the onset of COVID-19, which led to low retail footfall and supply chain bottlenecks. Moreover, health-conscious consumers limited their intake of unhealthy snacks to keep fit amid the health crisis,” Bobby Verghese, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, said.

“Though the pandemic control measures were lifted in 2022, soaring inflation undermined the sector’s recovery. With more savory snacks manufacturers factoring in the rising raw materials and fuel costs into their product prices, Japanese consumers are curtailing purchases.”

Read more: Japan’s kaintenzushi restaurant chains eye global expansion

GlobalData found that 31% of Japanese consumers are switching to cheaper brands or cheaper alternatives within the same brand. 

As a result, value sales of savory snacks in Japan are expected to decline further by 1.8% compound annual growth rate over 2022­–2027.


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