Oishii Japan presented the largest showcase of authentic Japanese food and beverages in its 2014 edition, with the participation of 266 exhibitors from 32 Japanese prefectures. The organiser said the show’s growth is a testament to the robust demand for quality Japanese F&B products in the region.
“Global exports of Japan’s agriculture, forestry and fishery products have increased 22%, to a record 550.5 billion yen (US$5.09 billion) in 2013. This strong global demand coupled with the enthusiastic response from industry players have resulted in greater awareness and adoption in the use of Japan’s F&B products,” said Masanao Nishida, director of Oishii Japan 2014.
“Oishii Japan has grown significantly since its launch in 2012. We are confident that the show will become the key annual business platform for F&B professionals to source for staple Japanese products, discover new-to-market specialties, and enhance their appreciation for Japanese cuisine and culture.”
Aiming to serve as a bridge for F&B businesses between Japan and ASEAN, Oishii Japan 2014 focused on showcasing the versatility of classic Japanese ingredients, quality seasonal produces, unique prefecture specialties, as well as innovative technology and machinery.
The plethora of unique prefecture specialties included large and sweet strawberries from Tochigi, olive beef from Sanuki, Japanese shōchū from Kagoshima and award-winning sakes from Niigata.
Tochigi, also known as ‘strawberry kingdom’ in Japan, is the top producer of strawberries in the country. Sanuki is the only prefecture in Japan suitable to cultivate olives. The cows are fed with the remains of dried pressed olives, resulting in award-winning wagyu of superior quality and texture.
In Kagoshima, the shōchū (Japanese distilled beverage) is put through a 30-day fermentation stage, during which a girdle of speakers wrapped around the tanks play Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Shōchū producers believe the slow rhythmic vibrations help to stimulate yeast activity for smooth-tasting shōchū.
Award-winning sakes were highlighted by exhibitors from Niigata, a prefecture best known for its premium rice and pristine water from the snow-capped mountains. A combination of these two factors, coupled with the impressive dedication of the local breweries, has resulted in top quality Japanese sake.
Oishii Japan 2014 also saw a number of new products being introduced into Singapore for the first time. These included Fibre Jerky, Puru Puru and Sanshotirimen.
Fibre Jerky, introduced by Hokumoukuroho Co Ltd from Gunma prefecture, is a healthy snack made of konnyaku (jelly-like food). The healthy and traditional Japanese ingredient is high in fibre and low in calories.
Puru Puru from Oishii Fukushima, Fukushima prefecture, is a halal-certified konnyaku jelly drink that contains fibre and collagen. It also contains hyaluronan that keeps the skin smooth and supple, according to the producer.
Sanshotirimen from Tsukudani Foods Co Ltd, Ishikawa prefecture, is used as a topping for various meals such as rice and porridge.
More show highlights
At this year’s Oishii Japan, Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) has taken one of the largest pavilions at 150sqm to promote specialties from various prefectures including Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Chiba and Miyagi.
It also invited renowned chefs and industry experts to share their knowledge on topics ranging from classic Japanese products such as green tea and sake to contemporary desserts. Special efforts were made to highlight the use of Japanese ingredients.
J-Sweets Collection, a new addition to Oishii Japan, presented over 40 exhibitors featuring a variety of Japanese confectionery and desserts.
Alongside the food companies, the latest F&B equipment and technology for food processing and related operations were exhibited under the J-Food Tech umbrella.
Other show reviews: ICSC