Fancy bread consumption is on the rise in Japan, in concert with the spread of coronavirus.
In the midst of COVID-19, in Japan, business for “high-quality white bread” is booming. According to the Yomiuri Shinbun, sales for luxury bakery Ginza Nishikawa, based in Tokyo’s ritzy Ginza neighborhood, increased by 12.3% year-on-year from February 2020 to January 2021. Fluffy, thick-cut white bread called “shoku-pan” (食パン) is a low-cost staple at Japanese grocery stores, but at Ginza Nishikawa a loaf goes for 864 yen, easily three times the price of standard white bread. Yet demand is on the rise.
When reporters asked a Ginza Nishikawa customer in her thirties why she was buying her bread there, she answered that “it’s a small luxury during the COVID-19 situation.” This slightly lavish choice of breakfast toast seems to be part of a trend of “revenge consumption” or “retaliatory consumption,” getting back at coronavirus through little luxuries and extravagances.
The rapid increase in sales for this high-end bread is clearly connected to the extended hours that many Japanese people are spending at home due to COVID-19. Stuck at home all day with plenty of time for breakfast, but no chance of lunch with coworkers or a night out on the town, people are instead choosing to add a little indulgence to the most important meal of the day, and leveling up their morning toast.
This is not the first-ever high-end white bread boom in Japan. In 2013, the extra-fluffy loaves from bakeries like Nogami in Osaka and Centre in Tokyo introduced the idea that white bread could be a high-end product, making space for bakeries that focused on Japan’s unique white bread varieties.
But COVID-19 seems to have spread this white bread trend to households all over Japan. Kyoto, a city steeped in traditional Japanese culture, is slowly becoming a hotspot for bread and gourmet bakeries. According to a survey by the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the average bread expenditure per household around Japan was 8,233 yen last year, an overall increase of about 4%. Stuck at home due to coronavirus, the people of Japan are enjoying the little things in life, like a fresh loaf of high-end white bread.
24 June 2022
15 June 2022
“ANIME SONGS PARTY!” Will Be Inviting Susumu Sugawara From Billy
BanBan on June 12 (Sun) and June 19 (Sun)
02 June 2022
27 May 2022
26 May 2022
“ANIME SONGS PARTY!” Will Be Inviting Yoshiki Fukuyama on May 29 (Sun) and Jun 6 (Sun) Broadcasts Delivering Exclusive Studio Session
23 May 2022
5 Summer Flowers to See in Japan | Welcome Japan’s Warm Weather with a Little Summer Flower Viewing!
20 May 2022
18 May 2022
16 May 2022
13 May 2022