Japan Business Report October 2018

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Discovery Reports

Mishima Foods dishes out new flavours in Asian expansion

Mishima Foods has been manufacturing and exporting Japanese seasonings since 1949

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 October, 2018, 2:31pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 October, 2018, 2:31pm

Country Business Reports interviews and articles by Discovery Reports

With the rising consumer interest in global cuisine, a continued craving for Asian flavours – with Japanese food being one of the most popular – is also expected. Such trend is a welcoming opportunity for companies such as Mishima Foods, which has been manufacturing and exporting Japanese seasonings since 1949.

Yutaka Mishima, chairman and CEO

Mishima Foods started with its core product, furikake, a traditional Japanese multipurpose seasoning that is usually put on top of hot rice, salads, noodles and other dishes. The product was first served in the United States in the 1960s, targeting Japanese expatriates. In 1988, Mishima Foods USA was established in Los Angeles in order to cater the growing preference for Japanese flavouring of consumers from across the states including Hawaii.

Through the years, the company’s offerings have expanded with ready-to-eat products in retort pouch packaging, multipurpose seasoning dashi mix, and its trademarked Yukari furikake created from red perilla or shiso leaves. “We conduct in-house research and development [R&D] and collaborate with foreign partners to deliver products that are based on our commitment to select the best ingredients and pursue the best quality,” says chairman and CEO Yutaka Mishima.

Aside from widening its product range, Mishima Foods has also expanded its sales and operations in Thailand and China. Established near raw material suppliers, the company’s Dalian plant on the mainland aims to satisfy the specific taste of the market.

“We went to China in 1990, and though we only have representatives in Shanghai and Beijing, we’re doing quite well,” Mishima says. “We aim to do the same in Thailand, where we started three years ago, as we look for more partners in raw supplies and packaging. We’re also eyeing the growing markets in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.”

Serving flavours to both B2B and B2C segments, Mishima Foods also seeks future active partners for sales and R&D in Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.