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Photo by Ethan Robertson / Unsplash

Tokyo, Japan—Rakuten Group Inc., the operator of the Japanese e-commerce marketplace Rakuten Ichiba, has released its 2024 summer trend forecast. 

The forecast predicts strong demand for heat protection products, money-saving kitchen appliances, and authentic international cuisine.

Based on data from purchases and consumer surveys, Rakuten anticipates an increase in sales of innovative heat protection items, such as drink mist bottles and hat cooling pads. 

This is because consumers are seeking solutions tailored to specific scenarios. 

The sales of men's sunscreen products exhibited a 380% surge in 2023, which may indicate an increasing interest level in this category.

So-called "thrifty hobby meal appliances," such as food dehydrators and yogurt makers, which reduce food costs while providing a fun cooking experience, have seen sales double in the last three months compared to the previous year. 

Rakuten attributes this to consumers' desire to consume food economically, particularly in the context of rising inflationary pressures.

Moreover, Rakuten anticipates an "authentic world cuisine" boom, with sales from the top 20 international food categories growing 3.3 times since 2019. 

The most notable increases were in Singaporean, Peruvian, Turkish, and Mexican food sales.

This phenomenon can be attributed to consumers who cannot travel abroad seeking to recreate authentic foreign dining experiences at home.

The company holds an online "2024 Summer Heat Protection Fair" from June 3 to August 30. 

The fair will present a range of products designed to provide consumers with cooling solutions, both indoors and outdoors.