Dentsu Inc., Japan’s largest advertising and branding agency released its “2011 Hit Products in Japan” report this week. The report from the company has been released each year since 1985 and lists the top 20 major consumer trends of each year. This year featured everything from Smartphones to K-Pop (Korean Pop) such as the band Girl’s Generation pictured below.

The company conducted their Internet-based survey in November this year where participants could choose from over 130 items and register whether each was simply “recognized,” “had interest in” or “popular.” The 130 were then whittled down to the top 20 listings that according to Dentsu “represent the consumer mindset of 2011.” The twenty items include popular content and social movements as well as physical products. “Smartphone” ranked Number One for a second consecutive year, as Japan along with the rest of the world adopts the now ubiquitous technology which has become integral to many peoples’ lives.

What with the events that consumed Japan in March, the list featured a number of items that reflect the country’s focus over the year. At Number 8 was “Disaster prevention supplies and emergency food supplies” and LED light bulbs at Number 2, possibly due to energy concerns the country felt over the summer. The appearance of the recently crowned tallest tower in the world “Tokyo Sky Tree” also took the number 3 spot. Similarly, reflecting national pride in a year of struggle, the Women’s soccer team, who scored victory at the Women’s World Cup, “Nadeshiko Japan” (the nickname given to the Japanese Women’s National Soccer Team) was at number 4.

2011 Hit Products Japan Full List:
(Numbers in brackets represent 2010 position, “-” denotes previously unranked)

No. 1: Smartphones (1)
No. 2: LED light bulbs (10)
No. 3: Tokyo Sky Tree (new broadcasting tower scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2012) (7)
No. 4: Nadeshiko Japan (the Japan women’s national football team who won the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany (TM) tournament) (-)
No. 5: AKB48 (48-member all-girl theater/idol group with its own theater in Akihabara, Tokyo) (18)
No. 6: Mana Ashida (a seven-year-old child actress, model, singer and celebrity) (-)
No. 7: Hybrid vehicles (16)
No. 8: Disaster prevention supplies and emergency food supplies (purchased in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake) (-)
No. 9: Electric and battery-powered fans (although most Japanese homes are equipped with air conditioners, many families bought and used electric or battery-powered fans instead to conserve energy in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake) (-)
No. 10: Digital broadcasting-equipped widescreen flat-panel TVs (4)
No. 11: Munchable (chunky) chili oil (3)
No. 12: Energy-saving home appliances (-)
No. 13: Lady Gaga (-)
No. 14: Automatic bread makers (-)
No. 15: Tablet information devices (tablets) (19)
No. 16: B-grade local gourmet food (term used for inexpensive local food eaten in a casual setting; A-grade refers to expensive gourmet food eaten in a formal setting.) (11)
No. 17: Steve Jobs (-)
No. 18: Twitter and other microblogging platforms (2)
No. 19: Electric cars (-)
No. 20: K-pop music groups (Girls’ Generation, Kara and other Korean groups – pictured above) (-)

Dentsu “Hit Product Recognition Survey” Overview
Survey period: November 5-6, 2011
Survey subjects: Men and women nationwide aged between 20 and 69
Sample size: 1,000 (responses received)
Survey type: Internet survey
Subject selection: Subjects were randomly selected from a list of registered