The Modern Confectionery Industry

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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Chocolates arrived in Japan in 1878, and today chocolate products constitute the largest category of confectionery in terms of domestic sales, with annual per capita consumption reaching 1.67 kilograms. Dark chocolate has become popular in recent years, but the wide range of fillings and flavors—which include fruits and vegetables such as sundried tomatoes—distinguishes Japan’s confectionery market, and foreign companies have taken notice. Nestlé markets Kit Kat candy bars in Japan in more than 80 varieties, including wasabi and soy sauce. Domestic confectioners have experimented with cookies that blend chocolate, pumpkin, and onion. The major chocolate companies in terms of sales are Lotte, Meiji Seika, and Ezaki Glico, which launched Pocky, its famous stick-shaped, chocolate-covered cookie in 1966.