Japan Focus: Lotte, Morinaga, Wakayama fresh produce exports and more feature in our round-up

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

Lotte is targeting Thailand’s adult snacking market with two new stick biscuits featuring 'sophisticated flavours'. ©Lotte
Lotte is targeting Thailand’s adult snacking market with two new stick biscuits featuring 'sophisticated flavours'. ©Lotte

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Lotte's Thai focus, fresh produce exports from Wakayama Prefecture, Morinaga's manufacturing lines increase and more feature in this edition of Japan Focus.

Tom yum biscuits: Lotte targets Thailand’s adult consumer market with sophisticated flavours

Lotte is targeting Thailand’s adult snacking market ​with two new stick biscuits featuring “sophisticated flavours” – tom yum kung and spicy bbq cream – its country MD told us in an exclusive interview.

Priced at THB$20 (US$0.60) per box, Lotte is launching savoury stick biscuits the first time in Thailand this month. 

The two new flavours were showcased during THAIFEX-World of Food Asia exhibition held at IMPACT Muang Thong Thani in Bangkok.

“This time, the inside of our new product is not chocolate, but tom yum kung and bbq cream. We launch these to capture the Asian market with local flavours. In the case of Singapore, salted egg chips is booming. Consumers are always looking for this type of new surprises,” ​Managing Director of Thai Lotte, Akira Shimizu, told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

Japan’s Wakayama prefecture seeks to expand fresh produce exports to SEA amid ageing home market

Japan’s Wakayama prefecture is pumping up its fresh fruits exports​ to regions such as South East Asia, to offset demographic challenges such as the ageing population in the domestic market.

Known as the “fruit kingdom” in Japan, the prefecture is the largest producer of persimmons, mandarin oranges and plums in the country. 

Speaking to FoodNavigator-Asia​ at THAIFEX-World of Food Asia 2019 trade fair held in Bangkok last week, Takayuki Miyazaki, project manager from the Food Promotion Division at Wakayama Prefectural Government, said that while nearly 99% of its fresh fruits produced served the local market, the ageing population in Japan meant that there was a greater need to seek export markets.

The market in Japan is still large, but because of the ageing population, we have to find new markets in other countries. If we cannot sell the products, it is a big problem, a big issue. We want to find new markets,” ​Miyazaki said. 

Morinaga builds extra manufacturing lines to pump up production of top-selling confectionery and desserts

Morinaga is building new manufacturing lines at its third Takasaki factory​ to increase the production of popular items, such as its best-selling ice cream Choco Monaka Jumbo.

According to its latest annual financial report, its net sales of frozen desserts grew 100.4% yoy, hitting JPY$37.2bn (US$339.9m), with chocolate and vanilla flavoured products bringing strong sales.

The report added sales of frozen desserts were forced to be suspended as it could not keep up with the overwhelming demand during the hot summer last year.

Overall in Japan, findings from Yano Research Institute also highlighted that ice cream is the number one dessert choice amongst Japanese.​ Nearly 8 in 10 of the Japanese consumers surveyed said they “love”​ or “like”​ ice cream.

As for chocolate, a spokesman from the firm told FoodNavigator-Asia ​that sales had grown by 110% between 2015 and 2017.

Healthy Ageing APAC Summit: Marketing pioneer to reveal the secrets of effective communication with seniors

With the number of seniors in APAC set to double to 1.3bn by 2050, there will be vast opportunities for food and nutrition firms to secure sales success within this demographic​…but only if they can effectively communicate with this growing audience.

That’s why we will be hearing from one of the region’s leading marketers and though-leaders in the field of ageing, at the second Healthy Ageing APAC Summit​ in July, organised by FoodNavigator-Asia and NutraIngredients-Asia.

Dave McCaughan, Chief Storyteller and Founder at Bibliosexual, will deliver a presentation titled New Life Builders: Constantly looking for the edge to enjoy the next stage’.

Connected packaging in APAC: China, Korea and Japan lead the rest of the world in on-pack QR code adoption

China, Korea and Japan are leading the Asia Pacific region and the rest of the world in the adoption of connected packaging and especially on-pack QR codes​, according to Mintel’s recent Global Packaging Trends 2019 report.

“In the Asia Pacific region, Korea and Japan, and even more so, China, have adopted QR codes as a means of using packaging to bridge the information gap between the physical and digital worlds,”​David Luttenberger, Mintel Global Packaging Director told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

“[The] Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) has seen an 83% increase in Asia Pacific in the use of QR codes on pack between 2014 and 2018.

“This far outpaces any other region in the world in terms of adoption and use of QR codes.”

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