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Decaf Poised To Perk Up Japan’s Coffee Market


TOKYO — Despite slumbering last year, Japan’s market for decaffeinated coffee products remains solid, albeit still small.

Decaf amounts to less than 1% of Japan’s overall coffee market, but manufacturers are optimistic as they seek to cash in on the rising popularity of decaffeinated beverages, including black and green teas.

After growing for five years, decaf bean imports slowed in 2018, with annual volume dropping 13% from the previous year. Still, last year’s figure was twice that of five years earlier, indicating solid demand, especially among elderly drinkers who want both a deep sleep and their cup of Joe.

The drop in 2018 was “a temporary dip that could just be related to inventory adjustment,” said Kazuyuki Kajiwara, head of the beverage materials department at Marubeni, a large trading company.

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