Increasing choice of alternative proteins on Japanese market

In the run-up to the special feature article on protein shift, scheduled to be published on this site at the end of November 2021, we have collected some articles reflecting at consumer attitudes toward alternative sources of protein and Japanese companies’ response to changing consumer demands.

Next Meats to enter Singapore market and to launch plant-based tuna, pork, and milk in Japan

Tokyo-based food tech company “Next Meats”, established in 2020, enters into Singapore’s alternative protein market, responding to its growing appetite for sustainable meals. Specialized in the R&D of Japanese-style alternative meat products made with non-GMO soy and pea proteins, the company has the ambition to sell their selection of plant-based patties, gyudon (beef bowls), and yakiniku BBQ meats to Southeast Asia. Next Meats is setting up a plant-based yakiniku meat factory in Singapore. (source)

The company is set to launch three more new products; plant-based tuna, pork ginger, and milk this month in Japan through its online shop. The plant-based tuna targets consumers who are accustomed to Japan’s seafood-rich diet. The plant-based milk is expected to be a success, as a significant percentage of Japanese people are lactose intolerant.

The company’s co-representative, Mr. Ryo Shirai sees the US market as a lucrative opportunity, saying it will lead to more than a hundred times the current growth. (source)

Rakuten Survey - more than half of Japanese have tried plant-based alternative foods

A survey conducted by Rakuten Insight on consumer behavior in Japan in 2019 reveals that more than 53 percent of respondents had tried plant-based alternative food products for health reasons. Rakuten is the largest operator of web shops. It says over 10 percent of respondents tried plant-based alternative food products because they taste better than animal-based food products. (source)

Plant-based meat sold at stores

Vending machine to sell edible insect-based foods introduced

In Miyaki Town, Saga Prefecture, in the South of Japan, the first edible insect vending machine in the prefecture has been installed, selling 12 types of fried insects, such as bamboo caterpillars, crickets, and water beetles in bottles for about 8 euro or 1,000 yen. The owner of the machine hopes it will change the mindset of consumers, claiming that insects taste good, and they are rich in protein, minerals and nutrition. (source)

Nomura Agri Planning and Advisory’s announces food and agriculture sustainable initiatives

NAPA (Nomura Agri Planning & Advisory), established in 2010, published its initiatives to revitalize local community and economy through agri-business. Nomura is a leading global financial services group founded in 1925. On 5 October, 2021, NAPA published its presentation on Food and Agriculture Sustainable initiatives. One of its initiatives is to promote alternative proteins. NAPA sees the increase in global food demand, particularly meat,  driven by population growth and the development of emerging economies , as opportunities as well as challenges. Higher demand for grain and water needed for meat production results in increased greenhouse gas emissions from livestock production, to forest destruction, and to the extensive use of chemical fertilizers. To reduce the environmental impact of agriculture, alternative proteins are attracting attention. Presentation Nomura Agri Planning & Advisory’s Food and Agriculture Sustainability

By Agricultural Office of the Netherlands Embassy in Tokyo

Beeld: Dried plant-based meat