Forget the Japanese craze luxury branded handbags for now, Japanese consumers spend about 15-17% of their monthly budgets on just food. This compares to just 5-7% in the US and between 9% to 14% in western countries of Europe. On the other hand side, Japanese spend a surprising low 8% on health. Of course, this depends on the type of household surveyed. Households of 2 or more earners spent an average of 17.2% of their monthly spending on food in 2007, and household with kids more on health related items.
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The only category larger than food is ‘Other’, which includes gifts and free spending pocket money. In 2007, Japanese households also put a larger proportion into savings, adding 19.1% of household income per month. So, food spending is particularly high in Japan, lmainly caused by high food retail prices. (METI)