Japan's frozen vegetable imports in 2018 hit a record high for two consecutive years. Due to the advantages of being easy to store and only purchasing edible parts, the Japanese restaurant industry, which is plagued by labor shortages, is increasing the use of frozen vegetables in order to simplify the production process.
At the same time, due to abnormal weather such as extreme heat and cold waves, the supply of domestic vegetables in Japan has become unstable, and the trend of replacing them with imported products is also increasing. According to data released by Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, imports in 2018 increased by 4% over the previous year to 1.05 million tons, breaking the record of 1.01 million tons in 2017 and an increase of 36% compared with 10 years ago.
Frozen vegetables produced in China accounted for nearly half, followed by the United States. Imports of frozen vegetables produced in China in 2018 increased by 7% compared with 2017, and double the amount imported in 2003. By category, spinach, broccoli, and edamame grew. Spinach was up 14% from the previous year and broccoli was up 18%. In the past 10 years, it has achieved more than 2 times growth.