Masks The Best-selling Product of 2020 in Japan

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A special sales area for masks at the Ito-Yokado Tama Plaza store in Yokohama

Masks and disinfectant were among the best-selling products of 2020, while cosmetics struggled due to fewer opportunities to go out, according to a sales ranking of food and daily necessities compiled by research company Intage Inc.

Intage compiled sales data for 4,000 supermarkets, convenience stores and drug stores nationwide from January to October this year. Estimates were added for the remaining time, and a ranking created of the products with the most-increased sales.

Sales of masks rose to 4.25 times the level in the previous year, while disinfectant rose to 3.02 times the 2019 level.

As for disinfectants, sales of hand sanitizer alone increased more than nine-fold from the previous year.

Candy sold with toys came in sixth, boosted by the Demon Slayer animated cartoon blockbuster and related products. As consumers spent more time at home, frozen seafood and ingredients for pancakes also sold well.

Lipstick was the least-sold product, down 56% from the previous year. In addition to longer hours telecommuting, consumers are believed to have spent more time with masks hiding their mouths. Sales of blush and foundations also suffered.

Travel and transportation were restricted to prevent the spread of infection, so motion sickness medicines and other remedies for dizziness ranked second among poorly selling products. Around Golden Week, sales of such medication were less than 20% of last year’s level.

Cardiotonics ranked third among the products that failed to sell. They are popular among foreign visitors to Japan, whose numbers have sharply declined.