Japan Focus: Food safety standards, bakery boom and dairy investment featured

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare announced the mandatory implementation of the HACCP program for the food industry two years ago. ©GettyImages
Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare announced the mandatory implementation of the HACCP program for the food industry two years ago. ©GettyImages
The growing importance of adhering to international food safety standards for Japanese firms, along with the latest developments at PT Kaneka, Megmilk Snow Brand and Calbee feature in our latest Japan round-up.

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 are 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.

To support the industry’s needs, the HACCP International opened an office in Tokyo recently.


Bakery market rising in Indonesia: Misubishi JV ramps up production with new factory

PT Kaneka Foods Indonesia (KFI), the JV between Mitsubishi Corporation and Kaneka Corporation, is setting up a new factory to meet rising demand in the nation’s beverage and bakery markets.

Located in the city of Bekasi, the new factory will produce filling and other processed oil products such as margarine.

Commercial production is expected to kick off in the first quarter of 2020, with production capacity expected to hit 15,000 metric tons each year.

A total of JYP$5bn (US$46m) will be invested in the factory.


‘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.


Calbee introduces potato chips for 'fashionable young ladies' in Japan

Japanese snack food maker Calbee has introduced Potato Chips Lovely Cheese,​ designed to appeal to women in their 20s and 30s who enjoy sharing pics of whatever they are eating on social media.

According to the producer that is renowned for introducing exotic treats – like matcha tea chocolate potato chips and Potato Chips Tom Yum Kung Taste – the new Lovely Cheese flavor is purportedly a perfect pairing with sparkling wine commonly popped open by fashionable young ladies for Christmas parties in Japan.

The new potato chips impart a double cheesy dose – from a mixture of rich gouda and a milder cream cheese – with a touch of blueberry to add aroma and sweetness.

The chips are packaged in a ‘pretty pink’ bag, which Calbee hopes will become a visual shorthand for “Holiday party time!”.

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