New Market Research Report: Self-Service Cafeterias in Japan

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Fri Jan 02 2015

Self-service cafeterias in Japan increased by 4% in current value terms to reach ¥221 billion in 2013. The category continued to grow in 2013 as a result of the good performance of leading players. Due to the intensifying competition, however, growth slowed down compared with the previous year. The majority of self-service cafeterias in Japan are chained operators. The expansion of self-service cafeterias in Japan has been driven by chained self-service udon cafeterias such as Marugame Seimen and Hanamaru Udon. Udon is a thick Japanese noodle made from wheat flour. The successful expansion of these brands is attributed to their unique serving style and affordable pricing. Udon is a common meal in Japan but it is usually not served in a self-service style. In contrast, at these self-service udon cafeterias, customers can choose the size of the udon and add toppings and seasonings by themselves in front of the counter. The total payment changes depending on what customers chose and one bowl of udon can cost as little as ¥280. As this serving style allows customers to enjoy the process of making their original udon and to adjust the total payment, the self-service udon cafeterias have been successful in the recent past.

Full Report Details at

Competitive Landscape

Toridoll Corp remained the leading player in the category with a value share of 32% in 2013. Toridoll Corp’s key driver of sales has been its self-service udon cafeteria brand Marugame Seimen, which registered double-digit growth both in terms of outlets, transactions and value sales in 2013. Marugame Seimen has successfully expanded its regional coverage by aggressively opening outlets both in suburban and urban areas. As the brand already expanded to almost 800 outlets in Japan, the company is concerned about cannibalisation. If the company continues to increase the number of outlets at the current pace, competition between Marugame Seimen outlets is likely to occur given the shrinking population. Thus, the company plans to shift the focus of the location for new openings from stand-alone to shopping centres, where a relatively fewer number of Marugame Seimen outlets are operating. The company also aims to increase the number of outlets overseas.

Industry Prospects

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