The food trend of rice and rice ball in Japan is leaning towards petit luxury
The Rising Trend of Premium Onigiri in Japan: A Glimpse into High-Quality Rice and Innovative Ingredients – A Key to Success Amidst Declining Rice Consumption, Targeting the Younger Generation.

In Japan, a notable trend in the food industry is the dominance of processed products utilizing rice. Specifically, the sales of brown rice have seen a significant increase, soaring by 205% in 2022 compared to 2017, indicating a growing popularity fueled by heightened health consciousness. Additionally, the sales of packed rice are on an upward trajectory, with a substantial growth of 274% for brown rice-type packed rice from 2017 to 2022. According to Gurunavi Research Institute, reflecting the societal trends in 2023, “gourmet onigiri” (rice balls) has been selected as a favored food choice, drawing attention for its wide range of variations and the enjoyment of petite luxuries even amid rising prices. Cookpad identifies “Paris onigiri” as a food trend for the upcoming year, showcasing the expanding demand for rice flour propelled by health-conscious preferences.

Gurunavi’s research institute, Gurunavi Soken, selected “Gochisou Onigiri” (Gourmet Rice Balls) as the “Dish of the Year” for 2023. This innovative style of onigiri, generously filled with various ingredients and garnering attention on social networking sites (SNS) due to its visually appealing presentation, was recognized for its distinctiveness.

Even in convenience stores, there’s a growing trend not only for the usual classic onigiri priced under 100 yen but also for premium onigiri made with high-quality rice and ingredients at a higher price range. In the future, there is a potential for an increase in visually appealing products.

Source: Gurunavi website, Family mart website, Seven eleven website, Cross Trend Japan website

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