Japan Focus: Suntory, Nippon Ham, House Foods, Megmilk Snow Brand, environmental-friendly packaging and more feature in our Japan round-up

By Pearly Neo contact

- Last updated on GMT

PET bottled coffee are increasingly popular amongst younger Japanese office workers, and is key sales driver amid a shrinking ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee market in Japan, according to Suntory. ©Suntory
PET bottled coffee are increasingly popular amongst younger Japanese office workers, and is key sales driver amid a shrinking ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee market in Japan, according to Suntory. ©Suntory
Suntory, Nippon Ham, House Foods, Megmilk Snow Brand, environmental-friendly packaging and more feature in this edition of Japan Focus.

Suntory insights: PET bottled coffee finding favour in Japanese office workforce

PET bottled coffee are increasingly popular amongst younger Japanese office workers​, and is key sales driver amid a shrinking ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee market in Japan, according to Suntory.

Suntory says its “Craft BOSS” PET bottled coffee series has been particularly welcomed by office workers and female consumers who are not familiar with canned coffee.

Launched only in April 2017, the annual sales volume of its “Craft BOSS” PET bottled coffee exceeded 27m cases, delivering “a very strong”​ performance, and was the “largest driver record highs”​ in 2018, Suntory said.

PET bottled coffee was gaining popularity due to its packaging and ease of consumption, Naoko Kushima from Suntory Beverage and Food’s (SBF) global corporate communication said in response to FoodNavigator-Asia’s​ queries.  

Allergen-free collaboration: Four Japanese food firms cook up recipe initiative

Four Japanese food firms, Nippon Ham, House Foods, Otafuku, and Nagatanien, have partnered to launch allergen-free food recipes​, the first collaboration of such in the food industry

The recipes do not include core food allergens such as egg, milk, peanuts, shrimp, crab, buckwheat, and wheat. Under Japan’s Food Labelling act, it is also mandatory to state the presence of any of these seven allergens in food products.

For a start, the collaboration has launched six allergen-free recipes, including fried curry bread, petit pizza, rice ball, salad and mayonnaise dip, pancake made with rice flour, and ham bread, which are available on the respective companies’ website.

These recipes feature products from the four companies, such as non-egg mayonnaise from Otafuku, curry from House Foods, ham from Nippon Ham, and A-Label salmon furikake from Nagatanien.

Japan’s manufacturers ramp up environmentally-friendly food and beverage product packaging

From recycled PET bottles to paper packaging, more Japanese firms are exploring or have launched environmentally-friendly food and beverage packaging​ to reduce the reliance on plastic.

In this article, we look at some of the companies involved and the innovations achieved thus far, including recycled PET bottles, paper packaging and biodegradable plastic.

International requirements: How Japanese food manufacturers’ can benefit from global food safety guidelines

Japanese food firms have a high understanding of food safety controls, however, most were following their own set of standards and were not familiar with international guidelines​, Nigel Asai, HACCP Japan chief, told FoodNavigator-Asia.

This may pose a challenge, as the industry is required to follow the internationally recognised Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) standards by 2020.

Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare announced the mandatory implementation of the HACCP program for the food industry two years ago. Some countries, such as the US, have already made HACCP implementation mandatory for certain food products.

Reasons​ for mandatory implementation include the need to demonstrate a high standard of food safety in Japan due to the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games.

‘Efficiency and productivity’: Japan’s Megmilk Snow Brand invests US$35mn into plant consolidation works

Japan dairy giant Megmilk Snow Brand will be investing ​ US$35mn (JPY4bn) into consolidating the production functions of its existing plants with an eye on efficiency and optimisation.

According to the company, the consolidation is considered part of its Group Long-term Vision 2026’​, which incorporates structural transformation, production structure evolution and the optimisation of product mix within the Beverages and Desserts category.

“This initiative will realize concentration of our management resources and high productivity through the consolidation of production functions,”​ said Keiji Nishio, Megmilk Snow Brand Representative Director and President.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Emerging Markets

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