Market Shake Turns One Year Old 🥳

Reflecting on year one, a thank you to our readers, our top posts to date, and much more in this anniversary edition!

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Happy Tuesday Market Shakers!

Market Shake turned one this January, and today we’re publishing a belated anniversary newsletter. We’re going to take a look back at our first year and share the highlights - your top 3 favourite newsletters, and the Market Shake teams’ too.

Taking a moment to savour 2021

Firstly, birthdays are a great time to reflect, so we want to take a look back at what we’ve achieved over the past year, and acknowledge the huge role that you, our readers, play!

We began Market Shake with a simple aim: 

  • To share genuine content about innovation in the food and beverage industry, with a focus on the Japanese market.

To achieve this, we select transformational trends which we believe have real potential to reshape the industry and the way brands and consumers interact. Whatever the topic, from plant-based to alcohol-free, we start out naive and curious - hungry to see with our own eyes the potential for these innovations to go big in Japan; and then we share everything we learn with our audience.   

Rather than just summarizing information, however, we actually venture into the Japanese market, scouring store shelves, chatting with customers, and interviewing industry experts, so that we can paint a clear picture of what’s going on. It’s this empirical approach that informs the four-part structure of Market Shake’s cycles:

Week 1: We compare the latest data on our topic in the Japanese market with global trends.

Week 2: We take our findings to Japanese consumers and hear what they really think about the trend.

Week 3: We visit stores to see the competitive landscape - which products are being sold, where and how.

Week 4: We interview experts in a relevant field to conclude our cycle with insider knowledge.

Though, as you’ve probably noticed, we usually get so into it that we end up writing a few extra newsletters. But that’s okay because we want Market Shake to be flexible so that, when we have the opportunity to deliver value to our readers with extra insights, we can.

That’s why, as much as we love researching and writing, the best part of our week is Tuesday, when we get to share what we’ve learned with our audience. Over the past year and a bit, we’ve attracted a community of over 1,200 subscribers (and counting), and we are grateful to every one of you for taking a moment to open up and read through our newsletter each week. We write for you, and we sincerely hope that you look forward to Tuesday as much as we do.

Speaking of looking forward, we’re already excited for 2022. This year we plan to bring you even more insights into the food and beverage industry in Japan, continuing our focus on sustainability and innovation. To help us, we are planning a menu of new ideas that we’re excited to serve our audience. We’ll tell you more about them once they’re done cooking.

Your favourite reads

With that said, let’s take a look back at 2021! We’ve published 48 newsletters since we started writing Market Shake. While we’ve had a blast writing everyone, we also enjoyed going back and seeing which posts proved most popular with our audience. So much so that we have to share them with you too. So here they are, your top three most viewed Market Shake newsletters.

🐞1 - Irresistible Insects #1: Insect Applications | Jan 11th 2022

Why read/ re-read: This newsletter uncovers the sustainable potential of edible insects and digs down into this innovative new market by pinpointing the major product applications, from protein powders to pet foods, where we insects are making inroads. 

🥙2 - Redefining Meat #1: Japan VS The World | March 23rd 2021

Why read/ re-read: Our first foray into the plant-based meat market identifies the global increase in flexitarianism, as well as extraordinary innovations from alt-meat startups like Impossible Foods and Huera Foods, as major reasons why consumers are happy to eat plant-based meat until the plant-based cows come home. 

🥑3 - The Plant-Based Food Revolution is Here | March 14th 2021

Why read/ re-read: In our second ever post, we introduced the booming market for plant-based products and were excited to see Japan is quickly catching up to the plant-based craze, driven not by an increase in people adopting vegan lifestyles, but mainly by consumer health consciousness.

Our Favorite reads

In addition to your most-read posts, we also want to share some of the GourmetPro teams’ favourite posts that didn’t make the top 3 but are especially relevant for 2022 and beyond. 

🦸‍♀️ The Plant-Based Industry Needs Courage | April 20th 2021

“This is a really great piece featuring the voice of a high level expert, Mr Miguel Serrano, Former EMENA General Manager at Nestlé, on the growth of the plant-based movement in Japan. It contains really fundamental insights about what companies need to do to ride the wave in Japan, namely:  

Ugo, CEO & Co-founder

🥛 Beyond Milk #2: Consumers’ Sound Bites | May 4th 2021

“Plant based milk is very much relevant in 2022 because a few volume driver brands launched last year in Japan (Coca Cola for example). 2021 was also the first full year which we got a taste of how big alternative milks are going to be. The Consumers’ Sound Bites post for plant-based milk is a favorite of mine from this cycle because the insights from consumers on the different categories are really clear. A recommended read for anyone thinking of launching a plant-milk in Japan.”

Vincent, COO & Co-founder 

🍰 Caring Confectionery #4: Market Insights with Gateaux de Voyage | June 29th 2021

“This is an anniversary edition right, how could I not choose a newsletter about sweets? I personally like the interview we did with Gateaux de Voyage. It provides great insights into international and local trends regarding plant-based confectionary, and contains core messages about consumers tastes here in Japan. Importantly, Sho Yoshida’s story is one of resilience. He believed strongly in the value of his product, even after an initial failure, and by taking a realistic approach to the market, he’s been able to succeed. Innovators will face challenges in 2022 too, but it’s vital they persevere because one success story opens the door for local and international players.” 

Polina, CX Manager

🥩 Redefining Meat #4: Market Insight | April 13th

Next Meats is a leading Japanese plant-base meat brand and our interview with them shows a major reason why: they nailed the basics. They focused on developing products familiar to consumers, like yaki-niku, and strove for pricing that is competitive with regular meat. Frozen meals are a big thing in Japan, and this interview addresses that, while a competitive space, there’s definitely room in freezers for more plant-based products. Recent announcements from the government about the introduction of plant-based labelling rules signifies support for the industry, so I think 2022 will be a year where we’ll see more innovators rising to challenge Next Meats for a piece of this alt-meat pie.

Toby, Content Editor

Finally, a request to you

It’s important to us that our audience loves reading Market Shake as much as we love writing it. So, we’re always looking for opportunities to hear the voices of our readers because your feedback helps us to improve.

While we don’t expect a birthday present (and we’ve already eaten enough cake), we’d love it if you can take a moment to share the gift of feedback about Market Shake with us 📣

  1. Complete our online survey »HERE«

or

  1. Reply directly to this email and let us know what you think about Market Shake, what you’d like us to write about, and/or suggestions for how we can improve.

That’s all folks

Thank you for reading and we hope you’ve enjoyed the first year of Market Shake. We’re grateful to have you all with us on our journey through the innovative world of food and beverage in Japan.

Next week we begin a new leg, with a special report on food waste and the situation in Japan. It’s an intriguing and eye-opening read, so stay tuned, and see you next Tuesday!

To our Japanese audience: take our 1 minute survey about food waste in Japan and be in with a chance to win a sustainable food and drink product goodie bag! 🎁

🇬🇧 English Survey Link: https://forms.gle/WkAXYp9K8HzB8P827

🇯🇵 Japanese Survey Link: https://forms.gle/yjHQma6F7FZ31TG67

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