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[Tsutsumu] Seasonal Packaging: Playful Spirit and Courtesy to Season-Loving Japanese Consumers – Japanese Wrapping Culture –

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Today’s blog is all about an unique aspect of “Japanese Wrapping Culture”.

As explained in an earlier blog, Tsutsumu or “wrapping” reflects much of Japanese mentality. Although the original meaning is somewhat lost in modern Japan, people still do have great expectation to wrapping. This comes as form of product packaging; snacks, drink bottles, instant noodles, etc. 

Japanese people are keen to “feel” each season. When seasons change, packaging of its all-year typical product comes in different packaging as a form of surprise and to show seasonality. Recently, there is also a trend of introducing season-limited products; in this case, the product itself is a completely new product with season-limited packaging. Yes, it is effective marketing, but these packaging and product development works on season-loving Japanese. 

For example, Kirin Beer, one of the big beer companies in Japan, sells Aki-aji, translated “autumn taste” only during autumn. Because it is brewed to fit autumnal Japanese cuisine, it also has packaging to trigger the seasonal feel with red momiji, or maple leaves, symbol of autumn in Japan.

In Japan, consumers enjoy seasonal packaging, whether it is a typical product or season-limited product. It is playful spirit of companies but also courteous thoughtfulness to consumers to enjoy and “feel” each season through product packaging, especially since it is hard to “feel” seasons through nature in the concrete jungle of large cities of Japan.