Japan Focus: Low carb rice, Asahi non-alcoholic beer, vegan chocolate and more feature in our round-up

By Pearly Neo contact

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Low carb rice, Asahi non-alcoholic beer, vegan chocolate and more feature in this edition of Japan Focus. ©Trice
Low carb rice, Asahi non-alcoholic beer, vegan chocolate and more feature in this edition of Japan Focus. ©Trice

Related tags: Japan

Low carb rice, Asahi non-alcoholic beer, vegan chocolate and more feature in this edition of Japan Focus.

Rice and shine: Expansion plans in the pipelines for Japan’s low carbohydrate rice

Japanese health food company KBS Corporation is rapidly expanding its sales channels for its low carbohydrate rice, Trice​.

The firm is in the process of selling Trice in local supermarkets and convenience stores. It is also considering entering new markets including Thailand, China and United States.

At present, Trice is only available in Japan, via its online store, gyms and e-commerce site Qoo10. It first launched in October 2018.

Raising the bar? Japanese start-up creates ‘guilt-free’ chocolate for active consumers

Japanese start-up True Food & Design is developing a healthy, natural, vegan chocolate​ product that contains zero sugar, sugar alcohol and artificial sweeteners.

The product is called True Food Chocolate, and contains six ingredients only: cacao, coconut, chicory, vanilla, hemp seed, and monk fruit. It is available in two flavours, plain and dark.

Hisae Mukuno, founder & CEO at True Food & Design told FoodNavigator-Asia​ that the company was specifically focusing on active consumers, as they see a demand for people who work out and want healthier chocolate.

Going green: Asahi to start producing non-alcoholic beer with renewable energy

Asahi Breweries will start producing its non-alcoholic beer Asahi Dry Zero using renewable energy​, following in the footsteps of some of Asahi Super Dry.

The firm will procure the same renewable energy from Japan Natural Energy Company Limited, which is mainly derived from biomass and wind.

This move is part of Asahi Group’s vision to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions in all its business activities by 2050. A shorter-term target is to reduce emissions by 30% by 2030.

Using renewable energy in producing Dry Zero is one of the ways to achieve the target.

Premium protection: Japan plans to strengthen IPs for high-end fruit and veggies

Japan is looking to strengthen intellectual property (IP) control over its premium fruits and vegetables being sold overseas​ in an effort to stop its high-end agricultural crops from being grown, and ultimately sold as the produce of other countries.

According to the country’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), amongst the crops that have been impacted by failure to properly implement IP control overseas have included the high-end Shine Muscat grapes which have been grown by other countries such as China and Korea.

FoodNavigator-Asia​ has confirmed with MAFF that one of the proposed initiatives for this is for the ministry to appoint a private organisation next year to work on the IP protection of new Japan-cultivated fruits and vegetables.

From pest to prize: New Zealand funds wakame seaweed research in hopes of breaking into potential US$3bn Japanese market

The New Zealand government has invested NZ$75,000 (US$48,210) into a high-value transformation project​ undertaken by local company Wakame Fresh, which specialises in the seaweed wakame - a species traditionally known as a pest in the country.

Wakame Fresh has received this funding under the New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industry’s (MPI) Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme, a NZ$40mn (US$25.7mn) fund aimed at ‘supporting problem-solving and innovation in New Zealand’s primary sector by co-investing in initiatives that make a positive and lasting difference’​.

According to Wakame Fresh Managing Director Lucas Evans, the seaweed may be a ‘bit of a nuisance’​ in New Zealand, but it is extremely popular in countries such as Japan as a staple food item.

Related topics: Markets

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