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Luxury Chocolate Sales Remain Strong

January 22, 2009

This year, Valentine's Day falls on a Thursday - a disadvantage for retailers selling premium chocolates. However, there does not appear to be any need to worry. According to a survey taken at the Plantan Ginza Department Store 63% of Japanese women are already planning purchase chocolate for their significant other. The average amount to be spent is approximately 12 USD. Opposed to most Western countries, in Japan it is the women who traditionally give chocolate or other gifts to their male partners on Valentine's Day.

The survey collected answers from 292 women 19-67 years old. The average respondent age was 35, with the number of single and married individuals coming out about even.

Of those women planning to give chocolate as a gift, 71% of respondents said they felt that they had to do this "due to tradition," while 63% were doing it "as a favor." Only 46% give chocolate "out of pure affection." The average amounts planned to be spent on chocolate by individuals in each of these three categories fell in the ranges of 34, 12 and 31 USD respectively. Compared to last year's numbers, money spent by individuals in all three of these categories for chocolate is planned to marginally increase. In addition, volume sales decreased, while unit price has increased, indicating respondents plan to give more premium types.

Those individuals spending the most on chocolate collectively however showed a decrease in average amount spent from around 120 USD last year to 80 USD this year.

Mainichi Shinbun January 22, 2009

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