Japan has high levels of consumption, with food and drink making up a significant proportion of this spending. The food and drink market is very sophisticated, and although Japanese traditional culinary culture remains a strong part of national identity, Japanese consumers enjoy a diverse range of food products now available at supermarkets, department stores, grocers and convenience stores. The Japanese value the country of origin and stories behind products, and attach significant importance to packaging and presentation.
Authentic products easily linked to Britain in consumers minds have been the most popular products in recent years - including black teas, whiskies, biscuits/shortbread and Scottish smoked salmon. The market for British beer, in particular, is growing with an increasing awareness of UK quality. Where an easy link to the UK is more difficult - such as olive oils or pasta sauces - market entry is more difficult. Each year UK Trade and Investment team lead a delegation of UK companies at Asia's largest food and beverage trade show, Foodex, alongside a number of awareness raising campaigns for distributors and consumers.
In August 2013, the British Embassy Tokyo will launch a Japan-wide 'Food is GREAT' campaign.
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