Why has “pistachio flavor” products become so popular? A study of consumer trends based on search data.

Why has “pistachio flavor” products become so popular? A study of consumer trends based on search data.

From 2020 to 2021 many pistachio flavored desserts and snacks were released in Japan. But why has pistachio become so popular of late? We analyzed the reasons behind this based on the behavioral patterns of search users and the sales trends of pistachio flavored products.


Transition of pistachio flavor products trend; change in number of searches

Pistachio nuts are a type of nuts with a hard shell. They can be roasted and seasoned with salt or made into pastes and used in sweets; they have a wide range of uses. Pistachio nuts are used in cooking and confectionery all over the world, not only for their unique rich and savory flavor, but also for their bright green color, which adds flourish to dishes.

By using the online activity log analysis tool “Dockpit”, we can see that the number of users searching for “pistachio” in 2020 shows a sharp increase in the second half of the year, especially from October onwards.

Trend of users searching for "pistachio”

Trend of users searching for "pistachio”
(Period: January 2020 – December 2020 / Devices: PC and smartphone)

In Japan, many pistachios nut related products started to appear around on shelves between 2019 and 2020. Although major companies such as MUJI (pistachio vanilla cookies) and DEAN & DELUCA (pistachio nut cream) had some products before then, they were not as popular as they are now.

However, in 2020, various companies started selling pistachio flavored products more widespread, and in August, the pistachio sweets specialty store “PISTA&TOKYO” opened at the Yaesu North Exit of Tokyo Station, attracting huge attention. In fall and winter of the same year, convenience stores also began to sell pistachio flavored products. It appears that that due to more contact points for consumers to be exposed to these products at convenience stores led to more people becoming curious, and in turn resulted in more consumers searching the term.

Furthermore, if we look at the trend of users searching for “pistachio” since the beginning of 2021, we can see that the average number of users has increased from approximately 80,000 in 2020, to approximately 120,000. This indicates that attention has continued to increase. In particular, there were three points in 2021 when the number of searches increased significantly: January, June, and October.

Trend of users searching for "pistachio”

Trend of users searching for "pistachio”
(Period: December 2020 – November 2021 / Devices: PC and smartphone)

The period from December 2020 to January 2021 was also when the number of pistachio flavored products at Seven-Eleven increased rapidly, including “Seven Cafe Pistachio Cookies”, “Pistachio Pudding”, “Pistachio Pudding Ice Bar”, “Pistachio Latte”, “Pistachio Chocolate”, and so on. It was almost as if the store was taken over by pistachios, regardless of whether you looked at PB or NB products. Even consumers had not affinity to pistachios prior to this started to pay attention to them on seeing the large number of pistachio flavor products.

After Seven-Eleven’s success, in June of the same year many other pistachio flavored products were also released by other convenience stores, such as “Uchi Cafe' Pistachio Waffle Cone”, “Pistachio Cake Ice Cream” and “Pistachio Steamed Buns” by Lawson, and “Toraku Fragrant Pistachio Pudding” by FamilyMart. From October, in addition to convenience stores, confectionery manufacturers such as Bourbon (Alfort Mini Chocolate Premium Pistachio) started to introduce pistachio flavored products one after another, accelerating the pistachio boom.

Now, let's take a deeper look at the users of this search term. When looking at the attributes of users searching for “pistachio” by gender and age, we can see that most searches are conducted by women in their 30s and 40s.

Gender ratios of keyword searching for “pistachio”

Gender ratios of keyword searching for “pistachio”
(Period: January 2021 – November 2021 / Devices: PC and smartphone)

Age of users searching for “pistachio”

Age of users searching for “pistachio”
(Period: January 2021 – November 2021 / Devices: PC and smartphone)

It is likely that women in their 30s and 40s, who have more time and money to spare, are the ones most likely to be interested in enjoying the rich taste of pistachios and are especially attracted to the photogenic effect of the bright green color. In the 2020 to 2021 period, restrictions due to COVID-19 made it difficult for people to keep up appearances on social media by sharing images of travel or outdoor activities etc. Therefore, pistachio sweet products serving a role of creating an extraordinary feeling and adding a splash of color to social media posts may be one of the reasons for their popularity.

Demographic map of “pistachio” search users

Demographic map of “pistachio” search users
(Period: December 2020 – November 2021 / Devices: PC and smartphone)

By looking at the demographic map of “pistachio” search users, we can see that many women are searching for the words of “effect”, “efficacy”, “nutrition”, and “diet”. Pistachios are so nutritious that they are called the "Queen of Nuts" and contain vitamins, minerals, and good fats. One of the reasons for their boom in popularity may also be due to their nutritious content that is seen to be beneficial to women, improving intestinal environment, and contributing to maintaining beautiful skin and hair, and preventing dryness.

Changes in consumer trends by season; Analysis by interest words

Next, let's take a closer look at the monthly search results and see how they have changed along with the products that have been released.

“MOW” in the spotlight|November 2020 - January 2021

Related keywords searched along with “pistachio”: seasonal comparison

Related keywords searched along with “pistachio”: seasonal comparison
(Period: November 2020 – January 2021 / Devices: PC and smartphone)

As many pistachio flavored products were introduced by convenience stores in late 2020, we can see that many people searched for “pistachio” along with the name of the convenience stores. Notably, “MOW Pistachio & Milk” sold only at Seven-Eleven, and “Pistachio Ice Cream” released by Ministop, were the big hits in November.

“Pistachio Ice Cream” released by Ministop

Source: https://www.ministop.co.jp
“Pistachio Ice Cream” released by Ministop

Influence of Valentine's Day shopping season|February - April 2021

Related keywords searched along with “pistachio”: seasonal comparison

Related keywords searched along with “pistachio”: seasonal comparison
(Period: February 2021 – April 2021 / Devices: PC and smartphone)

For Valentine's Day shopping season there were more pistachio flavored products released by different sweet makers such as Tirol Choco, Black Thunder, and Carre de Chocolat. As pistachios were gaining more attention, all related products were reported widely by internet news sites and became hot topics on SNS platforms.

“Tyrol Choco Pistachio” released in January 2021

Source: https://twitter.com
“Tyrol Choco Pistachio” released in January 2021

There were some people searching for “pistachio” nuts sold in bulk at Costco. This development suggests more and more people were gradually becoming interested not only in pistachio flavored items, but also in the original pistachio nut ingredient.

“Pino” a big hit|May - July 2021

Related keywords searched along with “pistachio”: seasonal comparison

Related keywords searched along with “pistachio”: seasonal comparison
(Period: May 2021 – July 2021 / Devices: PC and smartphone)

Big hit “Pino Pistachio”

Source: https://www.morinagamilk.co.jp
Big hit “Pino Pistachio”

In May 2021, when the number of searches settled down and the pistachio boom had almost whittled out, Morinaga released its “Pino Pistachio” on May 31 which went on to become a huge hit throughout June.

Word network of “pistachio” search users

Word network of “pistachio” search users
(Period: June 2021 / Devices: PC and smartphone)

Even prior to the product release, “Pino Pistachio” became a hot topic on SNS and was in short supply. The word network of users searching for “pistachio” in June clearly shows that many people searched for words such as “not selling”, “where”, or “where to buy”.

Komeda Coffee's new menu|August - October 2021

Related keywords searched along with “pistachio”: seasonal comparison

Related keywords searched along with “pistachio”: seasonal comparison
(Period: August 2021 – October 2021 / Devices: PC and smartphone)

The accelerated pistachio boom reached its climax in October 2021. In October 2021, Komeda Coffee Shop released “Shiro Noir Zestful Pistachio”.

“Shiro Noir Zestful Pistachio” released by Komeda Coffee

Source: http://www.komeda.co.jp
“Shiro Noir Zestful Pistachio” released by Komeda Coffee

Word network of “pistachio” search users

Word network of “pistachio” search users
(Period: October 2021 / Devices: PC and smartphone)

As this product was a pistachio flavor version of the already popular original Shiro Noir, we can see that many people were curious about it and carried out searches.

▼Related articles (in Japanese): Manamina has published various research articles related to the food industry. Please read these articles if you are interested in learning more.

【トレンド調査】大豆ミートがじわじわ人気拡大中!検索者は「レシピ」にもっとも興味あり

https://manamina.valuesccg.com/articles/1432

昨今、存在感を高めるじわじわと流行する大豆ミートについて、検索数推移や、検索者が知りたいことをWeb行動ログ分析ツールDockpitのデータで分析します。

【トレンド調査】おやつのサブスク「スナックミー」が提供する「体験価値」を分析

https://manamina.valuesccg.com/articles/1363

今回は、おやつのサブスクリプションサービス「snaq.me(スナックミー)」を取り上げます。数あるD2Cサービスの中でも話題のスナックミーの強みや提供価値について、Web行動ログ分析ツールDockpitのデータを参考にしながら分析します。

Summary|Consideration of consumer reaction to pistachio products

So far, the reason pistachio flavored products have become such a hit is due to new product information being released online where it then rapidly becomes a hot topic. The impact of the bright color and the photogenic appearance of pistachios are well suited for use and promotion on social media, and the rich taste evokes a sense of a “little luxury”. In addition to these points, the sheer fact that there were many pistachio flavored products readily available at convenience stores may also be one part of the secret behind the buzz.

It will be interesting to see whether the popularity of pistachios will end up being a passing fad, or if they become a staple flavor that will continue to satisfy consumer demand for “little daily luxuries”.

【Summary】
・The data in this investigation is from “Dockpit”, an analysis tool with online behavior log data and user demographic information under the permission of panelists in Japan presented by VALUES, Inc. between January 2020 to November 2021.

* The numbers of users are estimated by the data in the monitor and the internet population in Japan.
※Devices: PC and Smartphone

dockpit Get free version

※日本語での記事はこちらをご確認ください

「ピスタチオ味」はなぜ流行った?検索データから消費者動向を調べてみた

https://manamina.valuesccg.com/articles/1604#outline13

なぜピスタチオはここまで流行しているのか?その理由について、検索ユーザーの行動パターンと、「ピスタチオ」フレーバー商品の販売動向から分析します。

この記事のライター

大学では広報PR・広告を専攻。2022年の春からは新卒としてヴァリューズに入社。

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