Saturday, September 29, 2012

No. 8: Increasing presence of the senior generation in the consumer market (September 30, 2012)

Market trend:
Middle-aged and older consumers have been increasing the presence. It is reported that the ratio of shoppers older than 50 years of age increased 3% to 31% in 2011 at Seven-Eleven convenience stores. An increasing number of seniors do shop in a convenience store instead of a supermarket. Seven-Eleven is offering snacks and delis in a smaller package for the sake of senior shoppers. The increase is very notable in the membership of fitness clubs. In a fitness club in Tokyo, members older than 50 accounted for 51.1% of all members, surpassing the 50% mark for the first time.

It is important to take note that the senior generation places more important on quality than price. This can be explained by the growing popularity of premium beers and hybrid vehicles. Traditionally, makers of consumer products have focused on “family” and “youth,” but the situation is changing rather fast because of low birthrate and longevity. An economic research laboratory reckons that total household financial asset is estimated at 1,500 trillion, of which 60% is owned by people older than 60 years of age. Spending by these people was 101 trillion yen in 2011, accounting 44% of personal spending, and it is expected to reach 50% in the near future. Sooner or later, Asian countries will become an aging society. Stay alert. The world is changing very fast.

Seven-eleven stores were indispensable for 
people in the areas damaged by the March 11 disaster. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

No. 7: Dynamic change in the beer market? (September 21, 2012)

Market trend:


Seven and i Holdings developed its private brand premium beer “Grand Kirin” joint with Kirin and introduced it in June this year. Grand Kirin is selling well, and the company revised the sales target in 2012 from 3 million bottles to 4.8 million bottles.

Likewise, the company developed “The Extra” jointly with Asahi Breweries. The new private brand beer will be sold at Seven and i’s 14,800 outlets nationwide. The Extra contains 80% more malt than Asahi’s Super Dry and its alcohol percentage is as high as 6.5. Alcohol free beers have grown popular among Japanese consumers. Is it the time to offer strong beer to consumers tired of alcohol free beers?     


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

No. 6: The senior market is growing rapidly with the progress of the aging society (February 22, 2012)

Consumer behavior
With the progress of aging of population, the annual consumption expenditure of the senior generation (older than 60) increased 2.4% over the preceding year to exceed 100 trillion yen in 2011 for the first time in history in Japan. It accounted for as much as 44% of total consumer spending in 2011, reflecting tireless consumer spirits of the senior generation. Travel agencies responded quickly to this trend. Kinki NihonTourist launched a travel pack exclusively for couples of the senior generation, and H.I.S. started a service to set people above 65 free from cancel charge on a certain conditions.

Fitness centers added another service to the regular menu. Central Sports that has a network of 160 fitness centers across the country set up a day service facility to provide seniors in need of mild nursing care with training using Tablet PCs to prevent mental deterioration. Although members in their 20s and 30s decrease visiting frequency, members above 50s stay almost the same in visiting frequency. KidZania that offers services to let children have the same experiences as adults introduce a new fee structure. Visitors above 60 can ride as many attractions as they want for 5,200 yen per day, 500 yen lower than for adults, to allow them to enjoy attractions with their grandchildren. It has become rather critical for companies concerned to analyze the consumption behavior of the senior generation.

Monday, February 20, 2012

No. 5: A new marketing approach of a shoes company to collect customers (February 21, 2012)

Market trend
ASICS, one of Japan’ leading athletic shoes makers, will launch a new service within the year. The new service is to provide each user with information on his best shoes. A user sends his marathon training plan on the company web page My Asics, and the company collects detailed information on his training. Based on the analysis of his ability and level, the company sends information on his best shoes by e-mail. The service is free of charge. The company plans to expand the service worldwide and increase the users to 1 million in three years.

The user sends such information as gender, age, training frequency, as best marathon time via the web page. The company analyzes the characteristics of each user and sorts out the best shoes for him. ASICS has more than 100 kinds of running shoes on its lineup and wishes to promote its products by suggesting the best shoes for each user. The accumulated information and data will be utilized for the development of new products.