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Japanese food and beverage makers need more stomachs abroad. Asia must be their primary focus because of the region’s large and young population and a culture where Japanese brands are welcomed.

11 Comments

Tomonobu Tsunoyama, an analyst at Tokai Tokyo Securities Co. (Bloomberg)

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In CA, Gatten-zushi, Yoshinoya, Ramen Shops (Japanese of course) & a local (Japanese owned izakaya) do just FINE! As for canned coffee, CALPIS, overpriced Green Tea, energy drinks, ramune, there aint no market.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Thanks, Yelnats. Lived in White Plains back in the early 80s but didn't know that.The Chinese and Koreans there were always cool but I was not into the teas and Asian stuff at the time. i will check when I go back in the summer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I do not understand what this implies

Yelnats -- I agree. Simply because Japanese are welcomed in Asia, does not mean Japanese food products necessarily will be. The success of Toyota or Honda isn't transferrable to food, which is based on local tastes, as well as budgets. BMW has a great reputation here in the states, but you won't catch me eating bratwurst. Like yoursely, I'm not sure of the point.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Mocheake: There is a Japanese shopping district in the Bronx or white plains I believe. It must still be there. Google it. I used to get everything I ever wanted there...including unsweetened Japanese Green tea in Pet Bottles.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Oi Ocha from Itoen is actually a staple at Silicon Valley.

Thailand has a domestic brand of Green tea as well.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I used to hate that, but now I actually appreciate it. It adds more variety. When I go in the store back home now, they are selling mostly the same products they were selling 20 years ago. No variety.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One thing that I find really annoying about the food and drinks business in Japan is how most new products are only sold for a very limited time. The snacks and drinks that I absolutely loved have all simply disappeared off the shelves after just a few months, never to be seen again. It might sound strange but I'm actually reluctant to try new products just in case I really like them. I don't think customers outside of Japan will appreciate this way of doing business.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Trevor and avigator, I couldn't agree more. As soon as I arrived here, I realized how much I really liked stuff like rice crackers, mugicha, green tea, Japanese beer, etc. Even when I return to the States on vacation, I seek out Asahi and Sapporo beer and Japanese rice and teas. Luckily, I know a few places in NYC and Northern New Jersey (run by Koreans and Chinese!) where I can get whatever I want. If they market the stuff correctly, they will find there is a market. Maybe I need to do it for them!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Bring Japanese drinks to America now. I like ocha and mugicha. But none of those sweet drinks.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I disagree. Japanese food and beverage makers MUST market their products to North American and European consumers. Their problem is that they don't know how - they think they can do it from a Japanese perspective, but they refuse to acknowledge that their markets have a different perspective. Those North American and European consumers would LOVE to enjoy Japanese foods and beverages, but those consumers don't have a reference they can depend on, in order to enjoy the experience. Keep It Simple Stupid! But that's beyond the Japanese, in soooooo many ways.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I do not understand what this implies.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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