How to engage Japan’s value-conscious beverage consumers

With many Japanese consumers cautious about their spending, expert analysis from CGA by NIQ reveals how suppliers and operators can attract them.

To read the blog in Japanese, click here.


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CGA’s exclusive On Premise User Survey (OPUS)—the first-ever research solution dedicated to the sector—highlights the ongoing popularity of izakayas in the country, with two thirds (68%) of all consumers visiting licensed venues at least monthly, and 27% doing so weekly. 


While they are still eager to go out, many of these guests are now very sharply focused on their costs. Almost half the consumers say prices influence their drinks choices in izakayas (45%) and in restaurants (41%).  


Those who select ‘good value’ when asked about factors that are more important in their drink preferences than 12 months ago—30% of bar users say happy hours influence their purchasing decisions. These deals are also influential among visitors to karaoke bars (23%), restaurants (19%) and izakayas (20%). 


However, price promotions are not the only route to reaching value-conscious consumers. Around half (60%) say menus are an important factor in making their drinks choices in izakayas, and nearly 46% of consumers in bars can be influenced by recommendations from bartenders or servers. Seasonal or limited-edition drinks (40%), in-venue advertising (30%) and exclusive products (27%) can all be effective as well. 


The OPUS survey reveals many more choice factors to help suppliers and operators in crafting successful sales campaigns that help guests understand brands better and encourage them to purchase at full price. Data is broken down by channel to reveal which strategies work best in different venues, including karaoke bars, restaurants, izakayas and hotels. 


CGA’s expert analysis also highlights the factors that matter most to different types of consumers. For example, example, spirits drinkers show much more interest in happy hour deals, menus and bar staff recommendations than beer and wine drinkers. 


Kotaro Katayama, senior manager, new business development, said: “There is no doubt that price is very important to visitors to Japan’s bars and restaurants right now. But it’s by far from the only way to engage and educate value-conscious consumers. There are many more On Premise touchpoints where brands can appeal to guests, especially at the moment of sale via menus and staff guidance, and through aspects like displays and presentation. Understanding which strategies matter most for different consumers in different channels can unlock new trials and trade-ups, and our OPUS service delivers the knowledge that suppliers, manufacturers and venue operators need to maximise people’s spend in Japan.” 


CGA by NIQ’s OPUS service delivers unparalleled analysis of consumers’ interaction with the On Premise in Japan. The solution is trusted by leading beverage companies globally as a source of actionable insights, and is curated by On Premise experts who ensure a nuanced understanding of the beverage industry. The service helps brands create compelling sales stories and achieve a competitive advantage. Bespoke research is available for even deeper findings. To learn more about the OPUS solution in Japan, click here and get in touch with Kotaro Katayama here. 

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