Aohata savours 70 years of success in the fruit and jam business
From the beginning, Aohata has excelled in production techniques and pushed the boundaries of what is possible with fruit products
Country Business Reports interviews and articles by Discovery Reports www.discoveryreports.com
Celebrating Aohata’s 70th anniversary this year, company president Eiichi Nozawa summarises the reason for the company’s success with a single word: Honesty.
“We were originally a canned goods company. Customers can’t see inside a can, so to build trust and repeat business, we made sure that what is inside is better than what they were expecting. The key to Aohata’s success has been our ability to deliver products that exceed the expectations of our customers,” Nozawa says.
From the beginning, Aohata has excelled in production techniques and pushed the boundaries of what is possible with fruit products. Along with its famous marmalade, one of the company’s first products was a new type of canned mandarin oranges in a ready-to-eat format with skins and piths removed. In the early 1970s, Aohata released the Aohata 55 series of low-sugar jams, a first for the Japanese market. Then in 2012, the company introduced the Aohata Fully Fruit series, an all-fruit product with no added sugar, which has quickly gained popularity in Japan and is exported to a number of Asian markets.
In addition to consumer goods, B2B products for dairy, bakery and other applications are a growing part of Aohata’s business portfolio. Reinforcing the company’s strategy in this area, Nozawa explains that research and development (R&D) plays a crucial role.
“Rather than try to compete on price as a provider of commodity-type fruit sauces, we ensure our R&D team works directly with the teams of our customers towards the development of their products,” Nozawa says. “This has both strengthened our customer relationships and allowed us to realise stronger margins for our industrial products.”
Building on its strong performance in Japan, Aohata continues to expand overseas, most recently with expanded operations in China and Chile. “Finding the right local partners in international markets is very important to us,” Nozawa says.