Relax in a warm room with cold ice cream.
Winter ice cream sells well even with price hikes.
Why do you want to eat in winter?
There were deep reasons, from social changes to the way the human body works.
(Osaka Broadcasting Station why what coverage team Kosuke Kimura Tatsuro Nishikawa)
Do you eat ice cream in winter?
I asked in Osaka.
" Even though it's cold, I still eat it. It's the same as eating
ramen in the summer."
”(Female in her 20s)
Hmm, I understand.
According to a 2016 survey conducted by a major ice cream manufacturer, 98% of people answered that they eat ice cream even in winter.
This time, the interview was conducted in February.
When I went to a supermarket in Osaka city, there was a wide variety of products.
The ice cream section of this store has the same area throughout the year.
Winter sales are approaching 4 to 6 compared to summer.
The price of ice cream has been increasing one after another in the high prices, but this winter, the monthly sales are increasing by more than 10% compared to the previous year.
Mr. Takamitsu Nomiyama, Chief Buyer, Life Corporation
"The growth rate is higher in winter than in summer. In winter, boxes for family meals and premium products with high unit prices are especially growing."
I asked "Japan's number one ice cream lover"
Why is winter ice cream so popular?
We visited Iceman Fukudome, the representative director of the Japan Ice Mania Association.
He is an influencer with over 220,000 SNS followers and is the “Japan’s number one ice cream lover” who eats over 1000 types of ice cream annually.
Actually, it is said that winter ice cream has a long history.
Iceman Mr. Fukudome
“There has been a movement by makers to revitalize the winter ice cream market since the 1950s.In response to the demand for Christmas cakes, we sold ice cream cakes. Demand has been cultivated through various initiatives, such as TV commercials about eating it.” He
then points out that the trend really took off about seven or eight years ago.
According to a household survey conducted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, spending on ice cream in the winter has increased 1.5 times over the 10 years from 2011 to 2021.
Iceman Fukudome says that SNS is one of the backgrounds.
“Recently, there are many ice creams that look gorgeous. Individuals enjoy the visuals and post their favorite ice creams on SNS. I think everyone is enjoying winter ice cream as a form of communication.”
And what he said “hot” was the taste of winter ice cream.
“Each manufacturer is more particular about the taste of winter ice cream than it is in summer ice cream.
The manufacturer's strategy is...rich & smooth
I interviewed the manufacturer about the strategy.
Each company is focusing on products with a high unit price and luxurious taste in winter.
It is said that they are trying to differentiate themselves by emphasizing "richness" and "smoothness" compared to summer ice cream, which has a strong refreshing feeling.
Even in the same product, the milk component is increased in winter, so the type of milk component may change from "ice cream" to "ice cream".
Yudai Yamamoto, Frozen Desserts Marketing Group, Marketing Development Department, Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd.
“Even the products that we sell throughout the year have special specifications only in the winter. We make it 'smooth'."
Furthermore, he says that winter ice cream can be expected to have stable sales.
Because it is eaten indoors in a warm room, it is less affected by the weather than it is in summer.
Each company is competing with each other to focus on development.
Mr. Yudai Yamamoto, Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd.
"Each manufacturer, including our company, has taken on various challenges with the idea of 'I want people to eat ice cream in winter.' I think it's coming out."
Changed living environment
There is another winter ice cream background that the manufacturer's representative told us.
This is a change in the living environment in Japan.
Because people are living in warmer homes than before, more and more people want ice cream.
There is data on the "sensible temperature" that humans feel in a house in winter.
It was 16 degrees in the 1970s, but has continued to rise since then, reaching 19 degrees in 2020.
This is because the airtightness of buildings has increased with the times, and insulation materials have also developed.
In addition, changes in heating equipment.
The number of stoves that emit steam has decreased, and air conditioners that easily dry the room have become popular.
Since 2010, the penetration rate of air conditioners in Japan has exceeded 90%.
It's just about the time when the popularity of winter ice cream begins to gain momentum.
Warm and dry winter housing.
It was an environment that made me want ice cream.
Does the human body crave winter ice cream?
Some people point out that winter ice cream is a rational food for those of us who live in such an environment.
Professor Takashi Yamamoto, who is familiar with the brain mechanisms related to eating behavior.
Professor Takashi Yamamoto, Faculty of Health Sciences, Kio University
“When I go out in the cold, I tend to run out of energy trying to raise my body temperature. A “rich ice cream” is something that is cool and contains both fat and sugar, which are sources of energy.” The winter ice cream that the human body craves
It is said to be good for the mind as well as the body.
When you eat something cold and sweet, your brain releases β-endorphin, which is a pleasure substance.
When this substance comes out, people get a feeling of happiness.
I tried it to see if it's true.
When "β-endorphin" is released, the function of the brain that feels stress is suppressed, and the blood flow around the forehead decreases.
A sensor is attached to the reporter's forehead to measure blood flow.
In order to stabilize the blood flow, I take a sip of ice while keeping my expressionless.
I was thirsty in the warm room.
"Oh, it's delicious... Happy..."
Immediately after eating, my blood flow definitely decreased.
I am convinced that there are people who eat it as a reward for themselves.
Professor Yamamoto said, "Beware of eating too much," and said that winter ice cream, which gives you a sense of happiness, also helps relieve stress.
To survive in a stressful society
In fact, everyone who listened to the story in this interview pointed out something in common.
It is said that the stressful corona crisis has spurred the popularity of winter ice cream.
One of the best-selling items right now is the ice cream in small packs that can be shared with family and friends.
A little happiness that can be shared with loved ones.
For us living in a stressful society, winter ice cream may be indispensable.