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Indigenous Japanese Ingredients Whet Appetite of US Food Market

13 October 2009 2,037 views No Comment

BOSTON–(Business Wire)–
Kyodo Public Relations Co., Ltd. held a series of events in Boston, on Friday,
September 25th under the theme “Quality First: Genuine Japanese Ingredients for
American Kitchens” (http://www.kyodo-pr.co.jp/qualityfirst/). The events were
sponsored by MAFF (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan).

The series showcased an assortment of Japanese organic and natural ingredients,
including burdock, lotus root and yuzu juice.

The day began with a seminar by Charlie Shimojo, president of Shimojo NY News,
about the differences between the US and Japanese food retail industries,
followed by a seminar with Hitoshi Tanaka, president of Central Trading Co.,
Ltd. a major Japanese food exporter and a firm focused on distributing Japanese
food products within the US market.

Later on, buyers were given opportunities to explore about 80 products brought
from Japan, as well as discuss trading opportunities and business plans with
senior executives from the Japanese trading company present at the event.

Buyers were also able to taste some of the delicious and fresh products brought
over from Japan. Most seemed particularly excited by a custard-like tofu that
has gained significant popularity in Japan, as well as yuzu vinegar, a
citrus-flavored sauce used in salad dressings.

The series was immensely successful, drawing over two hundred attendees,
including buyers. The event also drew the attention of attendees to the Natural
Products Expo East convention, which was being held at the same venue.

Japanese cuisine has enjoyed a steady rise in popularity in the United States,
reflecting the increased appreciation for Japanese food and culture worldwide.
While many Americans are familiar with certain aspects of Japanese cuisine, such
as sushi and tempura, major Japanese trading companies are helping to bring
lesser-known Japanese ingredients into the American kitchen, opening up a new
world of culinary experiences. A local buyer commented: “I am very interested in
Japanese ingredients that are hard to find in the US.”

“Customers in Japan are quite sensitive to quality and freshness, and this has
led to the emergence of a Japanese food industry that relentlessly strives for
excellence,” explained Mr. Shimojo. It is these sorts of feelings from consumers
that strongly influence Japanese producers to provide food products that have
traditional high quality characteristics such as excellent freshness, fragrance,
and visual appeal.

Mr. Tanaka further commented: “Japanese cooking combines a wonderful diversity
of seasonal and regional ingredients, many of which are becoming readily
available at local US supermarkets,” adding that “one of our main goals is to
increase awareness in the United States about traditional Japanese ingredients
beyond the standard sushi and tofu.”

Kyodo Public Relations and the supporting trading companies effectively
introduced Japanese agricultural and seafood products to relevant audiences in
Boston, as part of an initiative to promote exports of Japanese food to the
United States.

MSA Partners LLC
Ethan Mandel, 212-764-4760
Mandel@msapr.com

Copyright Business Wire 2009

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