U.S. pork, beef showcased at Japan's largest food trade shows

Opportunity for USMEF to show Japanese restaurants, retailers how to maintain high quality while meeting price pressures.

2 Min Read

One of Japan’s most important food shows – the Supermarket Trade Show – just wrapped up and with support from industry partners, the U.S. Meat Export Federation showcased U.S. pork and beef products for key buyers from Japan’s retail sector. In early March, USMEF will lead similar efforts at FOODEX, Japan’s largest food trade show.

USMEF-Japan Marketing Director Tom Kasatani says these events play an important role in expanding the customer base for U.S. red meat products.

"Supermarket Trade Show is organized by the Japan Chain Store Association. It is so specific for the retail company. The main participants, guests coming to the venue is the supermarket companies. So supermarket is a very big market for us for both chilled and frozen product. That will be followed by the larger FOODEX show in Tokyo in March. Both events give USMEF opportunity to show Japanese restaurants and retailers how to maintain high quality while meeting price pressures with U.S. beef and pork," Kasatani says.

"We can't manage the price going up and down. But I think we can suggest or introduce the technique - how to manage to use some alternative cuts. So by introducing that I think Japanese can manage to keep on selling our products."

He also notes that Japan’s food industry is ready to capitalize on the recent uptick in travel and tourism, which have gradually recovered since the lifting of COVID-related restrictions.

"The number of tourists is now above the pre-COVID level since last October. And when you walk around the Tokyo area or some tourist area like Osaka, Kyoto, etc., you can see lots of tourists walking around. The hotel rate has increased quite a lot due to many guests staying, mainly tourists. Recently tourists preferred, 'oh I want to eat sushi or I want to eat tempera,'" Kasatani says. "Now tourists dine in everywhere like ramen noodle shops or quick service restaurants or beef bar restaurants, which normally used to be only the Japanese customer area. So yes, we are hoping many tourists can come and eat U.S. beef and pork cuisine in Japan."

Participation in Supermarket Trade Show and FOODEX is made possible through funding provided by USDA, the National Pork Board, the Beef Checkoff Program and the Texas Beef Council.

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