For Japanese employees they have two options for lunch, either to eat healthy japanese food from the cafeteria or go to a store and eat junk. Somehow a lot of them end up eating junk and it is a never ending cycle once you make a habit. Japan loves packaged, processed, delicious junk, convenience, 7-Eleven/Lawson/Family Mart foods.
In 2019, Japan’s food processing industry manufactured $219.7 billion of food and beverage products. One of the biggest reason is the chain of convenient stores in Japan. There are more then 56,000 – 24/7 convenient stores which makes packed/instant food readily available.
The smooth supply chain and efficient road network has made the concept of convenient stores in Japan highly successful. Japan has invested (no joke) billions of dollars perfecting the finest, most flavourful, most delicious junk food money can buy. The only reason Japanese astronauts haven’t planted a Japanese flag on the moon is because Japan’s R&D experts had a more important mission: perfecting the most flavorful convenience foods on earth.
Japan has ten thousand kinds of rice crackers. Instant noodles? The world leader. KitKat? Hundreds. Beverages? Hundreds again.
Wastage of Food in Japan
Government statistics show that of the estimated 6.43 million tons of food waste Japan produces a year, about 10 percent comes from food retailers, including convenience stores and supermarkets.
Approximately every convenient store in Japan, on an average, throws away ¥10,000 worth of goods everyday. But nobody can deny that Japan is the undisputed KING of processed foods.
Life is very fast paced, most of the time is spent in changing the metro, being on time and sitting long hours in office.
It gets next to impossible to cook everyday so grabbing something from the convenient store or going to the restaurant is the best option. And that is when processed/packaged food becomes a life saviour.
Also read about how How did Nestlé transformed Japan from a tea loving nation to a coffee consumer?