Nakata Foods brings ‘ume’ to global stage
Nakata Foods has long extolled health properties of ‘ume’ through the lush flavours of its fruit liqueur umeshu, pickled and flavoured umeboshi and other ume products
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Since ancient times, the Japanese ume – a sour relative of the apricot and plum – has played an important role in traditional medicine in Japan and China for its various health benefits. Its soft, plump and antioxidant-rich meat has been known to help protect against the flu, promote better blood circulation and resolve gastrointestinal illnesses.
Hailing from Japan’s largest ume-producing region Wakayama, Nakata Foods has been shining the spotlight on the health properties of ume for over a century through the lush flavours of its fruit liqueur umeshu, pickled and flavoured umeboshi and other ume products.
Over the course of its history, Nakata Foods has harnessed its ume expertise to satisfy the discerning palates of the Japanese people who can be considered as connoisseurs of the highly nutritious fruit.
“A very important part of Japanese food culture, ume invigorates, improves health and increases longevity. Umeboshi is used as a garnish in the middle of the Hinomaru bento to avoid rice spoilage, even in hot weather. Umeshu is a healthy and delicious liqueur rich in ume juice,” says president Yoshiaki Nakata.
Outside Japan, Nakata Foods distributes its products in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, London, Paris, Canada, Australia and other markets. Nakata Foods sees great growth potential in Southeast Asia and India.
Aiming to make ume a staple in cupboards worldwide, Nakata Foods seeks to expand its product line, and is developing fresh ume products for application outside Japanese cuisine. Nakata hopes that ume can be the next big flavour in the culinary world, following Japanese yuzu, sansho pepper and matcha.
“We want to uphold the ume tradition for the next generation to make sure it retains popularity and importance. We look forward to bringing ume to more markets to introduce a traditionally Japanese flavour that can be adapted to suit different tastes,” Nakata says.