The following are a number of observations based on my
experience and meetings at the thousands of booths and displays at Food Ex, the
worldÕs largest food, hotel and restaurant show held each year in Tokyo. The report is divided into a number of
sections that will often tie into pictures on http://www.hawaiifruit.net/indexjapan.html.
IÕve been attending this show with few exceptions over the past 15 years and
will note differences in marketing trends, chef usage and what different
countries focus on in marketing fruit. Although mostly fruit related, there are
a number of other areas IÕll briefly touch on. The first part of the report is based on observations at the
equipment and foodservice part of the show. Following that are the notes that
relate to uploaded photos. The photos are divided into 3 sections, new featured
products chosen by the show organizers, photos of interesting products from
various countries and photos of numerous brochures featuring fresh and value
added products from around the world.
Although the focus is Japan, much of what is done here by developing
countries has potential in the Hawaii niche market.
Please let me know if you have specific questions.
Food safety issues are of growing concern in Japan based on
bird flu and BSE being found in the U.S.
In the food service sector, small vacuum -packing machines are being
routinely used in hotels and large restaurants even when the required storage
time is overnight.
HACCP awareness and certification are increasingly moving
from large operations into small restaurants. There is also a movement to
inform the public on HACCP in Japan.
Color-coding is increasing in Asia and Europe. This includes
not only cutting boards but knife handles, disposable gloves, towels, and
serving & preparation dishes. Large kitchens may be divided into
color-coded zones to prevent cross contamination.
Asian hotels and larger restaurants are increasing the use
of small tabletop grills for yakitori type dishes where the customer cooks part
of their own meals.
In some locations in Japan, cooks and kitchen staff are
required to wear full headgear with side flaps, masks and gloves.
organic and natural food market is increasing world wide with a plethora of new
organizations in Japan promoting eating only organic foods. Over time, our
visitors to Hawaii from Japan will come to expect organic choices.
and restaurants are using small rice presses for sushi, musubi, onigiri and
number of available salts both for food service and consumer use is increasing
tremendously. The average grocery has 150 to 300 salts from various parts
around Japan as well as from other exotic locations. Flavored salts including
plum, yuzu, matcha, orange are actively being marketed. Colored unflavored
salts are also available as area wide choice of coarseness.
are using small bubble machines in lobby displays. In-room foot massagers are
becoming more popular.
shaped and colored dishes and flatware are being used it hotel restaurants.
are non traditional with a wide ranged of ultra modern designs. There were very
few traditional looking tableware or flatware designs on display even by large
companies like Noritake. There was a number of colored porcelains and glass
tableware on display including those infused with gold leaf.
soft ice cream machines are increasing in popularity judging from previous
years at the show. The machines use prepackaged mixes with many unusual
flavors, spices and varietal chocolates.
chefs are starting to use more Asian spices and flavors in their culinary
creations. These include yuzu kosho (yuzu and pepper), kabosu citrus, daidai
citrus, suidachi citrus, sansho 7-spice (shichimi tongarashi) and wasabi. This is the first time IÕve seen the
Europeans at the show feature food products incorporating Asian spices.
wife variety of vinegars were also on display including black garlic vinegar
(not balsamic). The average grocery in Japan carries a few dozen types of
elaborate espresso and in-room coffee machines were on display as well as
coffees from all growing regions. The machines, although geared for upscale
in-room applications, consisted of mostly cosmetic changes.
of gelato pre-gel with tropical fruit flavors were featured by many European
companies as well as Japan importers.
glut of dragon fruit in the international marketplace was evident in many
displays with white fleshed dragon fruit pieces being incorporated into
products like gelato, ice cream, smoothie mixes and various drinks both with
and without alcohol.
is a trend for hotel and restaurant staff to receive training on tiny portable defibrillators
that are kept on site at a growing number of restaurants.
also attended a briefing expressing concern with the growing number of Japanese
children suffering from wheat allergies. There are groups bringing this to
public and promoting traditional foods.
marketing of beef in Japan by many countries increased tremendously due to the
tenuous situation of the US beef being sold and the scare of BSE.
following notes relate to photos at:
show organizers and country representatives choose the products in this section
to be featured in the main hall of the exhibition.
oil from primarily South Africa is being sold in Japan as well as Europe.
of growing interest both in Asian and European Culinary circles.
fruit (Sclerocarya birrea)
is being touted in South Africa for use in both edible and skin oil. Fruit pulp
and nuts from the fruit are also being sold and marketed in Japan. http://www.marula.org.za/
In addition to its jams and
jellies from temperate fruit crops, the country is also marketing its roasted
IndiaÕs featured products include
different textured honeys and high quality mango puree.
Freeze-dried durian and other
tropical fruit is a fast growing market in Japan with most of the fruit coming
new naturally pink salt has been added to the shelves of many markets in Japan.
ItÕs also available in foodservice sizes and pared with different types of
grilled fish. Many chefs will use different salts with different types of fish
stuffed in baby squash may not be traditional Japanese cuisine but it became so
popular that it moved from foodservice into consumer markets.
cake slices are not knew in Japan but using tropical fruit in them is.
with whole fruit pieces are more popular than ever. There are a number of stores in trendy areas that cook and
bottle fruit based jam to order while customers wait.
citrus juice is being bottled and packed as gifts. Not just orange juice but
customers have a choice of many cultivars. Information included describes the
fresh fruit and farm where itÕs grown.
always has a very large display at Foodex along with thousands of products,
many of which compete with Japanese produced ones. Korea also promotes its
traditional teas and numerous fruit based products.
currents are being actively marketed in Japan as a major NZ crop as well as
lamb and other meats.
have always been a mainstay of the countries export programs but recent
competition from Iran and other producing regions forced them into new
packaging schemes. They have also increased the presence of their other
products like olive oil, chestnuts and dried fruit.
Photo Section 2
(Displays from FoodEx 2007)
Ņeat more fruitÓ sign pretty much sums up most of the FoodEx focus this year.
Every country that had a display had some type of value added fruit based
product. Those with agreements with Japan also displayed fresh fruit products.
Large Japanese multinationals focused on a wide variety of fruit products processed
locally and in the country of origin.
photo shows a small section of the exhibition hall. The show was held in
JapanÕs two largest venues, Makuhari Meese and Tokyo Big Site. The total space
was roughly the equivalent of 16 football fields.
folks down under were promoting non-alcoholic fruit beverages as cordials. I
found the taste somewhat insipid. Note the Hula titled one although I was told
the pineapple in it comes from Taiwan.
from Chile, in baskets ready for grocery stores, was on display at the booth of
a Japanese company, in the American section as they also represent Driscolls.
Tropical Maria brand has been very popular at the past shows. Juices from
exotic fruit such as soursop, Surinam cherry and lulo are served to booth
visitors. This year there was an increased focus on frozen fruit in sections
and purees for foodservice industry.
juice is a fast growing sector in the Japanese market.
bananas are sold in most Japanese grocery stores along with Cavendish from
sometimes as many as 4 different countries.
based wines and sparkling wines from Germany were also well received.
fruit was organically grown.
sections packaged in heavy syrup for consumer and food service markets.
Coffee gave away samples of 100% Kona but their display was mostly 10% blends.
Hawaiian papaya group had a display featuring Big Island grown fruit from the
trading arm of Mitsubishi. The booth, located in the US section was very
popular with visitors sampling our fruit, as often, top quality papaya will
sell for more than $10. in Japan.
chef from a Tokyo Indian restaurant gave out samples of a high quality mango nectar.
I sampled mango juice from a number of Indian companies as well as the
Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Sri Lanka and other countries. This was by far
officially sanctioned exporter from the Spice Board of India.
varieties of mango and more fruit juices.
mangos and food service packaging of mango puree on display.
manager of the Karnataka State agriculture group with displays on products
grown in that area of Southern India.
Cashew Export Promotion Council gave away samples of
the nuts in various forms.
They also had cashew juice and butter on display.
The dried figs from Iran are excellent and marketed all
over Japan. They are much smaller and sweeter than black mission figs being
offered in the US section. Small bags of the figs can be found in small local
markets and gourmet shops around Japan.
dried fruit, raisins and pomegranates were also on display with samples
fruit was available for sampling at both the countries booth as well as the
Japanese importers booth. Recipes in English and Japanese were also handed out
as well as being used in the marketing collateral to stores.
dried fruit and mango juice offered at one of the Japanese booths.
chips were offered in a variety of flavors and spices. The chips are produced
in Thailand for the Japanese company.
jam, jelly, desserts, yoghurt as well as fresh fruit on display from the
Yamagata prefecture agriculture-marketing group. In Japan, in addition to the
national coop called JA, each prefecture has its own Ag promotion and marketing
fruit sorbet frozen in the fruit skin and packed for foodservice sales.
(orange cultivar) Citrus salad dressing.
based puddings, cakes and juices packed in individual servings for both
consumer sales and foodservice use.
tropical fruit and juice from Thailand at the Japanese importers booth.
display of individual jello type fruit products with and without pieces of
fruit were on display.
fruit juice, sauce and syrups are packed for food service and consumers in
is from Thailand, Indonesia and Taiwan.
jam produced in Japan from Indian pulp.
b & c
fruit drinks, vitamins and products produced by a Japanese company from
Brazilian fruit. The company also promotes acerola products and other fruit
touted as health supplements.
selection of salt in Japan is immense with the average grocery store carrying
between 30 and 100 varieties. New products released in April 07 will include
citrus flavored salts.
teas based on citrus additives are very popular as well as being traditional.
citrus used, like yuzu, is also used as a jam and mixed in yoghurts.
uses of matsutake mushrooms, in Korea, are growing in popularity too.
honey, health supplements, and candy are just a few.
juice, puree and ketchup are packaged for both consumers and food service.
fruit based jello and candy is packed in a variety of sizes. Tropical fruit
based candy is also popular.
98% of the avocados in Japan are Mexican Hass. What is relatively new is the
marketing of frozen halves, chunks for salads and processed dips.
and the importers actively promote the healthy attributes of the avocados.
booth featured a timetable for when fresh fruit was available.
dragon fruit, tamarillo (tree tomato) and other fruit was also being promoted.
the JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) South American products were
featured including Noni Juice.
extensive Philippine exhibit included fresh fruit, juices, dried fruit,
powdered fruit mixes, pulp and puree. The products are packed for both
consumers and foodservice.
fruit from Serbia and Croatia has been popular in Japan from the past few
cultivated, some fruit is also sold as harvested in the wild, which is very
made from Soursop and other fruit is packaged as a gift set
jackfruit, papaya, bananas and a variety of other fruit were introduced for the
as started to actively market a number of types of bananas in Japan as an
alternative to the current South American and Philippine imports. The marketing
of different cultivars, side by side in groceries is not new in Japan. Large
groceries will now offer 7 or 8 types of bananas.
and other products from roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) were also offered.
Pineapples and pineapple plants are also being offered.
as well as agriculture commodity groups market fresh and processed fruit from
within the Taiwan booth.
fruit and coconut milk. The same brand is often found in Hawaii.
mango, processed fresh coconut and papaya were offered in a number of Thai
fruit gifts and canned fruits were also on display. IÕve noticed over the past 10- years that presence at the
show of dried fruit has increased tremendously. IÕve also noticed that this
yearÕs displays of dried and dehydrated fruit were not as elaborate is in the
past. Packaging does not seem to be as important as it once was as often,
Japanese companies will repack products, as gifts, no matter how fancy the
supplied packaging is.
mango and mangosteen being prepared for sampling at the show.
pineapple had a larger presence than previous years.
fruit was also on display at many of the Japanese manufacturers and importers.
sauces with fruit, especially pineapple seemed popular. I thought the taste was
fruit sections and puree were featured for foodservice.
Japanese company Fraise, which represents Driscolls in Japan, was located in
the Japanese section. In addition to US fruit, they also marketed Chilean fruit
that may or may not be in competition with other US grown items.
is in the US section as opposed to the Hawaii section as the company Maui
nothing to do with Maui. All of their collateral features Maui and Maui images,
as youÕll see in the brochure section of this report, but the company is owned
by Californians and the products produced there. Nothing comes from Maui.
and Products from FoodEx 2007)
marula fruit and Avocado oil from Africa
country has always promoted its fruit but not to this extent with the more
exotic offerings. This is the
first time IÕve seen Cupuacu and Cacao offered as a whole fruit.
and soursop being processed and offered in a number of products was to be
was also surprised that Brazilian guava ketchup was not as popular as it was 2
offerings included many of the usual and standard processed products one might
expect. I did like this lychee ad. Chinese as well as Thai, Mexican and Taiwan
lychee is sold fresh and frozen in Japan.
Tropical Maria Company continues to actively market exotic fruit products in
Japan. This includes fresh fruit, juices packed for consumers and foodservice
and a host of other
products. Lulo is one of the fastest growing segments of the juice market.
the pinch of increased competition on bananas from other Asian and South American
countries as well as increased banana tariffs from the EU, Ecuador as stepped
up its promotion on other tropical fruit including passion fruit. They are also
started to actively promote hearts of palm.
was the largest Egyptian booth IÕve seen yet. Their juices seemed popular, as
did the pumpkin based products.
products from the sea buckthorn,
Hippophae rhamnoides, have been at the show a few years with limited success.
The juice is very good. The farmers union has started marketing healthcare
products as well as the juice and jellies.
Fewer exhibits than in previous
years, Germany has been actively promoting their sparkling fruit wines.
The Karnataka Ag coop as well as
others in India had representatives to assist companies with their marketing in
Japan as well as promote states like Karnataka.
A few of the Indian mango
varieties being offered to Japanese Importers.
The Iranian figs and pomegranates
have long been promoted in Japan. This year, as with the Indian mangos,
varietal differences are also made apparent as well as numbers recipe
Israel had a larger booth than in
previous years, actively promoting pomegranate wine.
Coffee from dandelion may not
sound normal but it did taste like coffee and much better than some instant and
canned coffees IÕve had in Japan.
Packaged fruit pieces with yoghurt
and cream for desserts.
Ice cream with various fruits.
Frozen fruit as well as fruit sorbet
packaged for foodservice individually wrapped.
Fruit flavored jello type desserts
Pumpkin desserts and fruit filed
Cover of Japan Airlines import
group. Fresh mango, starfruit and berries are among the offerings.
Durian chips are making inroads
into major groceries rather than just specialty stores.
Acai fruit being touted for its
antioxidants is sold as a juice. Japanese companies import much of the
More of the salts being offered by
a company, including fruit flavored salt.
Fruit sherbet packed in the fruit
from which it came packed for foodservice in individual
Fruit ice desserts, packed for
foodservice in individual servings.
Mr. Tanabe moved from Japan to
Ecuador because of his love of bananas and now markets them in Japan.
Juice, tea and honey made from the
matsutake mushroom. The juice was excellent.
Traditional Korean tea with fruit
additives. The jelly like processed fruit is like a thin marmalade and also
used as such.
The brochure from Maui Beverage
Company has nothing to do with Maui!
It is an example of companies
taking advantage of HawaiiÕs reputation for marketing purposes.
Mexican brochures so some of the
wide variety of fruit being marketed by the country.
Sweet peppers in light syrup.
PeruÕs brochures this were much
more elaborate than in the past.
It is also the first time theyÕve
marketed Lucama and yacon.
The Philippines brochures show a
number of companies with fruit products both for consumers and foodservice.
This year they also offered a choice of cuts for dried bananas and mango.
High-end fruit wines made from unusual fruit like duhat, bignay and soursop
were also offered.
Fresh frozen fruit
Basil seed was being offered as a
Dehydrated jackfruit was not as
flavorful as what we produce in Kona
Dehydrated Woodapple (Feronia limonia) powder for drink mixes.
Kitul syrup from palm fruit was
Homestay and Agtourism guidebook
for visiting Taiwan.
The fruit and brochures from
Taiwan are very high quality and popular in the Japanese market place. Taiwan
also offers choices of cuts and packaging for foodservice as well as varietal
Thailand offers fresh and freassh
frozen fruit as well as canned and dried. They also had a number of recipes with
fresh ŅexoticÓ fruit on display.
Turkey has successfully promoted
its figs for a number of years in Japan.
US fruit and many products are
overshadowed by the meat industry displays but
continue to be represented in
Japan. The Hawaii papaya display was very popular and one of the most active US
Vietnams contribution to the show
consisted of high quality dried fruit and fruit products. They were not
marketing fresh fruit yet but I suspect itÕs just a matter of red tape before
enter the Japanese fresh produce market.