The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan (MAFF) has been implementing the "Thank You Sugar" campaign since 2018 to provide correct knowledge and information about sugar and support the expansion of demand and consumption of sugar.
In this campaign, officials from the MAFF announce their predictions for trendy sweets at the beginning of each year, and the results of these predictions are announced at the end of the year.
Source：MAFF Japan https://www.maff.go.jp/j/seisan/tokusan/kansho/kakudai/index.html
The Japanese word "ありがとう" (Thank you) is read as "Arigatou" with the kanji "糖（とう）" meaning sugar.
In Japan, in addition to traditional Japanese sweets (wagashi), many Western-style confections are also popular. Sometimes, sweets from around the world that were previously unknown in Japan can cause explosive booms in popularity.
From Overseas to Japan: The History of the Introduction of Sweets.
The history of foreign sweets being introduced to Japan dates back a long way. In the 9th century, senbei (rice crackers) were introduced from China, and in the 15th century, sweets from Portugal were introduced (which were called "nanban-gashi" at the time). These sweets were adapted and transformed by Japanese culture, giving rise to regional sweets such as castella in Kyushu and tarts in Shikoku.
Senbei and Castella are sweets that are still widely established in Japan in the 21st century.
Tarts are a local pastry in Ehime, Shikoku. It features a yuzu-flavored red bean paste inside.
Initiator of the Sweet Boom - Crepes
The era quickly advanced from medieval times to modern day.
In the late 1970s to the 1980s, crepes, a sweet originally from France, became explosively popular among the fashion-forward youth in Harajuku, Tokyo, which was at the forefront of trends.
Crepes, filled with fruits, whipped cream, ice cream, and other ingredients, were wrapped in specialized paper and arranged to be easily held in the hand, creating a "new style" that could be casually eaten even while walking, capturing the hearts of the young people in Harajuku.
Crepes have been served in Japan since the 1930s as a dessert in French cuisine.
Sweets that have created a sensation in Japan over the years
This crepe boom sparked the later sweets boom, and various foreign sweets have become very popular in Japan so far.
Here is a brief summary of the history of the sweets boom.
History of the Sweets Boom in Japan
The Basque Cheesecake from HEUREUSE – available in Kawasaki City Store
HEUREUSE is a bakery-cafe specializing in cheesecakes, located in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture.
The store's showcase is always filled with several kinds of cheesecakes, and in addition to the cakes, customers can also enjoy delicious coffee and herbal tea made from carefully selected beans.
"We want people with allergies to be able to enjoy our food." -- with this vision, they are particular about the ingredients used, which are additive-free, gluten-free, and everything handmade.
The Basque cheesecake, which has become very popular in Japan, is made with a recipe from a famous long-established bar in the Basque region of Spain, where it was originally made, and was later improved and baked by the owner.
Rich yet melting in the mouth, it is a supreme gem that transcends the concept of cheesecake.
How about trying a unique no-bake cheesecake that is completely black, with edible bamboo charcoal kneaded into it? It's a one-of-a-kind black no-bake cheesecake that you won't find anywhere else in the world.
HEUREUSE's no-bake cheesecake is exquisite: fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth, rich, and not too sweet.
In this issue, we have introduced some foreign sweets that have become very popular in Japan.
What kind of sweets are popular in your country now?