Why Japanese people love ice cream in winter: Comforting and Self-Rewarding

February 1, 2021
2 min read

In Japan, ice cream consumption sees a small spike in the winter. Since 2015, the concept of “winter ice cream” has appeared in the Japanese media, and as a result, many companies have focused on developing ice cream products for the winter scene. One successful winter ice cream product is Lotte Yukimi Daifuku, which became a limited-edition product in 1981 and has been a regular product since 2018.

Pay attention to consumers’ taste needs and consumption scenarios for winter ice cream

For the consumption behavior of ice cream in winter, consumers put more emphasis on the indulgent eating experience, which is reflected in the product characteristics, that is, the pursuit of taste and texture to give people a sense of enjoyment. 

A research shows that in winter, Japanese consumers prefer “silky texture”, “rich taste” and “melt-in-your-mouth”, while in summer, “light taste”, “crispy texture” and “easy to eat” are the main preferences.

In addition, winter ice cream also has a strong correlation with the user scene, such as “I want to eat cold food when the room gets warmer”, “after dinner”, “after showing” and so on. 

Self-rewarding and comforting products are more suitable for winter ice cream

Below we have listed some products from Mintel Global New Product Database (GNPD), hoping to inspire your product innovation: 

Popular sweet cake

Meiji Essel Super Cup Sweet’s

(Strawberry Short Cake / Mont Blanc)

Cake & bread style

Ohayo Melon Pan Ice

Imuraya Dorayaki Roll Ice Vanilla

A combination of  soft Dorayaki dough with rich vanilla ice cream and sweet red bean paste.

Akagi Cheeeese Basque Cheese

Crispy caramel coating contains rich and smooth cheese ice cream.

High calories ice cream

Morinaga Calories Monster Cheerio – Creamy Mayonnaise / Triple Cheese

First mayonnaise flavor ice cream in Japan. A chocolate bar ice cream, it is coated with crispy chocolate mixed with toppings. Combined taste of sour, salty and rich. 

Tapioka drink

Seven-Eleven  Royal Milk Tea Bar

Andico Tapioka Berry Berry (FamilyMart  limited item)


Check out Mintel Reports Japan today! The smartest way to understand global trends and what they mean in Japan.

Mintel Reports Japan covers consumer lifestyles and attitudes towards the beauty and personal care sectors.

Daisy Li
Daisy Li

Daisy is an Associate Director with the Mintel Food & Drink team, speciliasing in the China market. She monitors and reports on the latest innovation and trends impacting the Chinese food and drink market.

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