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Roasters work together in revitalization of coffee shop's consumption.

Roasters work together in revitaliation of coffee shop's consumption

The following are the estimates of the supply and demand of coffee made by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries which show that coffee consumption in Japan is still increasing though its growth rate is slowing.

Behind this bright side of steady rise in coffee consumption, a dark cloud can be seen which has hung over the coffee industry in Japan for the last several years--the marked and rapid reduction in the number of traditional coffee shops or "Kissaten" especially in the major cities.

According to the statistics issued by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, the number of coffee shops as of October 1st, 1989 are about 133,000, a decline of nearly 11.7% from 1986 and 30% from the time when regular coffee consumption there was at its highest. Sharp rise of both land and rent prices as well as higher wages caused by critical labor shortages--all these factors have made it increasingly difficult to maintain, to say nothing of opening a traditional type of coffee shop. To make the matters worse, the consumption and sales of this sector have been heavily weighted upon by the remarkable developments of fast food restaurant chains and office coffee services.

The coffee shop sector is still an important market for almost all of roasting companies and there is a feeling among them that a further decline in the numbers and sales of coffee shops would affect their very existence.

The National Federation of Coffee Roasters Associations (chairman K. Nagata), consisting of six regional associations with membership of about 350 roasters, has recently announced that it will make a nationwide campaign for one week from October 1st "Coffee Day" in order to revitalize coffee consumption at traditional coffee shops, thus putting the brakes on the downward tendency in their numbers as well as to further increase regular coffee consumption at home with the fund of about US$1.6 million raised by members subscriptions.

One of the main features of this campaign called "Regular Coffee Fair" is an award of a 7-day trip to the West Coast of the US to 500 persons by lottery. One lottery ticket will be given for a cup of coffee or two for a purchase of 100 gm of regular coffee at the member coffee shops or stores of this trade fair. The federation intends to hold this kind of fair every year.

A rapid rise in "standing up" coffee shops, sharp increase in home consumption and steady upward trend in the sale of canned coffee sold in vending machines have offset the fall in consumption at coffee shops, helping to maintain overall coffee consumption. However, revitalization of coffee consumption at traditional coffee shops is thought to be of vital importance to the development of the coffee industry in Japan and everyone in the trade expects the campaign will achieve a considerable success. [Tabular Data Omitted]

Wataru Nishibayashi, President Wataru & Co., Ltd. Tokyo, Japan
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Title Annotation:Japan
Author:Nishibayashi, Wataru
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Sep 1, 1990
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