Break out the sake and eel, because it’s that time of the year!
Father’s Day doesn’t have a long history in Japan as it enjoyed very little recognition until the 1980s. According to data released last month by Rakuten Research, the occasion still struggles to receive the attention of Mother’s Day, with less than 20% of the Japanese populace aware of the exact date.
Nevertheless, Japanese dads aren’t being completely neglected. Gift-giving is a common practice and the Rakuten Research data suggests that Japan’s daughters are taking on more than their fair share of showing appreciation. Nearly 50% of women give gifts each year, compared to less than 30% for men.
Father’s Day gift giving on the rise
Research indicates that consumers are ready to splurge a little more than usual, this year seeing a 1,000 yen increase in the average Father’s Day gift budget. For Rakuten’s online marketplace Rakuten Ichiba, where Father’s day is heavily celebrated, this is a good sign.
Each year the Ichiba team goes to great lengths to conduct research to provide users with the best possible selection of gifts for dad – even providing tools to help them decide based on their dads’ personality. Here are a few of Rakuten Ichiba’s top recommendations.
Beer and sake
Alcoholic beverages are an easy choice for many – and one unlikely to disappoint. Each year, Rakuten Ichiba’s Father’s Day pages are decorated with a seemingly endless selection of different liquors.
While beer and sake tend to take the spotlight on Father’s Day, an increasing number of dads (perhaps with some encouragement from family members) are opting for wine or whiskey instead.
Comfort food: and forget the calorie count
Additional research from Rakuten Ichiba uncovered some interesting truths about the food habits of Japan’s dads. While over 90% of dads claimed to be making an effort (willingly or not) to eat more healthily, 58% revealed that they crave the occasional high-calorie culinary delight.
Encouraging fathers to indulge their cravings, Rakuten Ichiba is calling for users to share their top comfort food images on Instagram, while offering up some original mouthwatering recipes for bowls of rice with grilled eel in a sweet sauce, beef steaks with mountains of garlic rice and indulgent salted pollock roe dishes.
Dad style (but not just socks and ties)
Fashion is in focus this year, ranking a close third behind drinks and food among dads in their 50s. Around half of the fathers surveyed by Rakuten Ichiba revealed that they didn’t have a clue about what to wear outside the house and had trouble coordinating their outfits. Many admitted that their own style wasn’t particularly well-received by the family and that most of the clothes-shopping was left up to their wife.
Trends from previous years have picked up on the ‘pair look’ boom, which continues to have a loyal following, but this time Rakuten Ichiba is drawing attention to the many dads around the country looking to coordinate outfits with the family. Alongside a collection of ‘pair’ items, Ichiba is encouraging users to post their matching styles on Instagram.
A hidden demand for anti-snoring goods?
While the data paints a clear picture for the top three gift categories, individual product rankings are telling a different story: The snore-preventing Su-Zi AS Good Sleep Pillow topped the Father’s Day rankings for 2018 – the first time anything from the sleep category has done so.
Interestingly enough, it wasn’t the only anti-snoring product to rank, with this high-tech gel pillow from BlueBlood also making the top five. What remains unclear, however, is whether these particular gifts are truly just for dad’s benefit…