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Packaging Drivers in Japan

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Size: A4
Extent: 180pp

Illustrations: 120
Tables/charts: 20

An essential resource for top-level data and a strategic analysis of the key drivers of Japan’s US$54.8 billion package production industry.

Digging deeper than the generally available industry data on market size, segmentation and demographics, this report analyses the complex forces impacting on Japan’s packaging industry which has consistently taken the lead the field in technological innovation, aesthetic appeal, brand shelf presence and consumer expectation, most of which takes years to filter out to the west.

This report investigates the key drivers of this advanced packaging market and analyses the lessons non-Japanese companies could adapt to their own market conditions.


  • Spot future trends and developments
  • Inform your business decisions
  • Pinpoint growth sectors and trends and identify factors driving change
  • Understand the competitive environment and the market’s major players
  • Add weight to presentations and marketing materials
  • Source new designs and formats
  • Contact potential new production and design partners

This report is a mine of information about the key forces impacting upon the Japanese packaging industry, forces which, if they have not already done so, will impact on western society in the immediate future:

  • Sustainability – Biodegradability - Environmental Legislation - Aging Populations – Changing Retail - Distribution Systems - New Consumer Oriented Technological Solutions - Packaging Material Development, Formats and Applications.

It examines how and whether the Japanese packaging supply chain adapted to the challenges of their rapidly changing society by innovation in Packaging Design, construction and developing new materials.
Anyone looking for new ideas and a fresh perspective:
-    Business Development Directors
-    Packaging and Brand Strategists
-    Packaging Designers
-    Packaging Buyers
-    Converters and co-packers
Understand the key drivers of the Japanese Packaging Industry:
Japan’s market forces are as complex as a zen poem; seemingly simple demographic data and production statistics reveal layers of depth which have resulted in creative industrial solutions in material technology, structural and graphic design to meet future consumer demand – and in the most cost effective manner.
- This report looks behind the statistics to reveal the underlying motivation behind Japan’s new packaging technologies.

Japan’s legislative framework comprises no less than five basic environmental laws which combine to require the mandatory sorting, collection and recycling of post consumer waste.
A complex system of fees and quotas are imposed on the packaging supply chain at source to fund post consumer collection. Calculated by weight and volume the complex scale of charges has resulted in unique technological developments in response: Package light-weighting and package reduction not only cut transport costs, but results in reduced fees.
- This report details and discusses the core packaging provisions of each of Japan’s five environmental legislative instruments, their success rates (or otherwise) including interviews with key industry players.

Changing demographics in Japanese society mean that the population is ageing rapidly, resulting in dramatic changes in lifestyles and consumer expectation.
UNIVERSAL DESIGN (UD) is a new revolutionary movement to promote a different way of thinking about the functionality of the package builds accessibility and user-convenience into the initial concept: easy opening for the elderly yet child proof, clearly labeled instructions for eyesight impaired yet hold shelf appeal, pre-cooked meals in retortable or mircrowavable pouches are self-venting to release steam and prevent scalding.
This new UD movement has been adopted by ALL of the major packaging producers and brand owners in Japan collaborating to develop new active intelligent packaging materials, substrates and closures.
This report analyses the impact of UD and includes practical examples of new packaging formats which have found success in the market as a result of UD.

Until very recently Japanese workers were considered to have an ‘iron rice-bowl’ – redundancies and lay-offs were unheard of as the Corporation took paternal responsibility as part of the ‘social contract’.

An understanding of the three types of Japanese corporations, their roots in the pre-war zaibatsu, the linkages and informal relationships between businesses in the packaging supply chain gives an insight into the transformation from traditional Japanese business structures and practices to modern day CSR policies.

The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) may be a familiar in many western companies, however Japanese collective culture places the CSR emphasis on ‘Social Responsibility’ with the Corporation as enabler.

One example would be the belief in ‘safety before work’ – not a mistranslation but the belief that it is in the collective interest of society that a worker remain safe outside the workplace and that it is the corporation’s responsibility to enable and facilitate this.
- This report examines the practical role played by CSR in the packaging industry and how it relates to the development of UD packaging, technology development, sustainability, and the relationship with government and legislation.




1 PBIA May2015 web


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