Great potential for Greek exports of olive oil to Japan
Japan is the third largest economy in the world with GDP of approximately $4.8 trillion for 2014, showing signs of slowing down and perhaps going into recession as the third quarter of 2014 the economy shrank by 1,6%.
On the other hand, the Japanese olive oil market seems to be growing rapidly. Japanese imports of olive oil doubled between 2005 and 2012. For 2014 it is estimated to worth approximately €195 million compared to €152 million for 2013. That is an increase of approximately 28%.
This trend is believed to continue as the Japanese consumers are renowned for their health consciousness and recent studies have showed that the average Japanese is aware that extra virgin olive oil is a valuable antioxidant. The Japanese use olive oil mainly for seasoning in salads, in making pasta and in soups as a generic seasoning.
Greek olive oil market share, according to data issued by the Statistics Bureau of Japan and processed by The office of Economic and Commercial affairs of the Greek embassy in Tokyo, has reached 2% in the first seven months of 2014 compared to 1,8% for the whole of 2013.
The leading exporting force with regards to olive oil in Japan is Italy with 51% market share (from 53% for 2013) followed by Spain with 39% (from 37.2% for 2013).
The above figures show a clear potential for quality Greek olive oil in the Japanese market. As in most countries Greek olive oil already reaches the Japanese market as part of blended Italian olive oil. However Greek companies still lack marketing tools, commercial networking and of course export culture to take full advantage of the potential the Japanese market offers.
The ELEONES team has been studying the Japanese market for a couple of years and it is one of the most interesting markets for future expansion.