Japanese Valentine ‘s Day is very unique, known as the day when women give chocolates to men they like. There is no custom for men to present to women on Valentine’s Day. On this day, women will go to school and work with a beautifully wrapped chocolate.
Chocolate Companies’ Marketing Strategy!!
It is said that the occurrence of Valentine’s chocolate in Japan is a Valentine’s Day sale made by a chocolate company in 1958 at a department store.
In the following year’s Valentine’s Day, the heart-shaped chocolate was sold with a copy from “Female to Male”. By the mid-1970’s, Valentine’s Day was established as a day when women confess their love by giving chocolate to men, and now the chocolate consumption of Valentine’s Day occupies about 20% of Japan’s chocolate annual consumption.
“Giri Choco” – Obligation Chocolate
Many women present valentine chocolate not only for men who have love emotions, but also for male friends, men with whom they work at work, fathers and brothers and sisters.
Chocolate to give to men you like is called “Honmei (favorite) chocolate”, and chocolate to be given to men who is not so is called “Giri (obligation) chocolate”.
In the workplace, women sometimes giving obligation chocolate to groups of men and bosses.
Another Chocolate Day “White Day”
On Valentine’s Day, women give chocolates and gifts to men. And one month later on White Day, which is custom only Japan, men give white chocolate and gifts to women.
So after 14 Feb, the White Day sales starts! Packaging are much more cool, mostly blue and white gift wrapping where Valentine gift has pink wrapping.
Well, you can say that it’s very interesting and strategical marketing to increase the amount of Chocolate consumption in Japanese Market, baed on Japanese “Okaeshi”, Give and Take culture in Japan.