Fukuoka: A Gateway To Asia - Focus On Fukuoka #3 [Market Brew]
Find out how a local health-food company leveraged Fukuoka's proximity to Asia for the strategic expansion of their brand.
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Happy Thursday Market Brewsters. Today we continue our exploration of one of Japan’s major regional markets, Fukuoka, and the opportunities there for F&B players. We’ve already discovered Fukuoka City is a popular F&B test market in Japan, and looked at the opportunities in the food service and hospitality industry. Today we hear from a company that has been able to grow its business by taking advantage of Fukuoka’s proximity to Asia.
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Giovanny Paiz Torres (pictured above) is in charge of the Overseas Sales Development for Sonomono Inc. (hereafter: Sonomono), a company that makes health food supplements. Their key ingredient is Japan’s marmite, the love-it or hate-it fermented soybean, natto. Giovanny has spent the last 10 years of his career on Kyushu, supporting the global expansion of diverse companies, including Sonomono. He’s a firm believer in Fukuoka as a fertile land of opportunity.
Giovanny has been instrumental in expanding Sonomono’s health food products to Singapore, their first international market. The proximity to Fukuoka and similarities to Japan meant Singapore was a high potential market.
In addition to being a convenient gateway to Asia, Giovanny emphatically reminds us that Fukuoka gives access to one of Japan’s most valuable resources, its nature. Fukuoka’s warm climate and fertile soils make it an excellent place to produce raw materials. Sonomono source the soybeans for their natto from nearby Saga prefecture.
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On engaging regional stakeholders in Japan
Giovanny and his boss recently collaborated with research institutions, local farmers, and the Fukuoka Government on a research project to prove the health-giving properties of natto. It included more than 200 participants from Kōhoku-machi, Saga. To see the results of the project and diverse scientific information related to natto, check out the Sonomono Labo site.
According to Giovanny, it takes experience and patience to make the most of collaborative projects like this, however.
Getting things done in Japan is all about building the right relationships. But if you’re new to the market or exploring a new F&B venture, it’s hard to know where to start and who to speak to. An expert who can introduce you to the right people can save you time and turbo-charge your project in Japan.
GourmetPro’s network of experts has an average of 15 years of experience on the ground in Japan driving change through engagement with local stakeholders. Whatever change you want to bring about, our experts can ensure you achieve your desired outcome.
To find out more about how to work with the Fukuoka City and the opportunities available, we organized an exclusive interview with spokespeople from the local government. More on this next week!
That’s all folks
A huge thank you to Giovanny Paiz Torres and the team at Sonomono Inc. for supporting this article and interviewing with Market Brew.
See you next time for an exclusive interview with the Fukuoka City Government about F&B business opportunities in the city.
Made with ❤️ by GourmetPro - Food & Beverage experts in Japan.
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