A new line of instant soups from Hikari Miso Co., Ltd. that are easy on both the wallet and the environment will go on sale nationwide in Japan beginning Friday, July 7, 2020. The new line will include “Mainichi Oishii Awase Miso Soup: Wakame and Tofu”, “Mainichi Oishii Awase Miso Soup: Green Onion and Fried Tofu” and “Mainichi Oishii Harusame Noodle Soup: Chicken Broth and Egg Drop Soup.” The freeze-dried instant soup is ready in a minute by simply pouring hot water.
Products Fulfilling Demand for Economical and Stockpiled Necessities in Large Quantities
Hikari Miso has developed the 20-serving variety pack series in two types of instant miso soup and one type of harusame (mung bean) noodle soup to fulfill the recent demand for easily stockpiled foods that come in bulk without expensive price tags. The increased number of people staying home to slow the spread of the coronavirus has spurred demand for grocery items for at-home cooking, and miso is no exception. In Japan, the amount of industry-wide miso shipments grew 103% in March compared to the same month last year, resulting in the first year-over-year increase in six months (1).
Additionally, many companies have transitioned to telecommuting and holding online meetings to encourage staying indoors and avoiding crowded, enclosed spaces. As the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan has deemed this to be part of “a new way of life,” many people are predicted to continue having meals at home, even after the state of emergency has been rescinded in the nation.
According to a survey in April (2), the instances of miso soup appearing at Japanese tables during breakfast and dinner have increased. Many respondents attributed taking time for breakfast with nutritious miso soup to telecommuting. Also, at dinnertime, consumption of miso soup has risen along with the increase in consumption of white rice. It turned out that consumers have been finding economic benefits in the typical Japanese dinner with rice and miso soup, which prompted analysis that the stay-at-home life has led many to consciously make greater efforts to keep costs down.
Moreover, from January 2020 to March 2020, nationwide sales of harusame noodle soup products with 10 or more servings increased 111% compared to the same period last year (3). The products have seen a jump in sales, especially from families with lower-grade school children (4).
Environmentally-conscious Packaging Designed with Illustrations and Made with Less Plastic
Instant miso soup is typically presented in packages with a color picture of the soup printed on the front. For the new products, however, an illustration replaces the picture to make it more cost efficient for consumers. Additionally, the shape of the package has been converted from a gusset pouch to a two-fold bag (a bag sealed with a line in the back), creating a more compact size so that the outer packaging uses less plastic. Compared to Hikari Miso’s other instant miso soup products, the packaging for the Mainichi Oishii Awase Miso Soup uses 40% less plastic. It is compact, easy to store, and was designed with the environment in mind. It is one more step toward achieving our sustainability goal of having 100% of our products use less crude oil-based materials by 2030.
(1) Japan Federation of Miso Manufacturers Cooperatives
(2) Kyodo Printing Co., Ltd.: RIA-SHOKU
(3) Knowledge on Sales Promotion Service Provider: KSP-POS Data
(4) Macromill: QPR
ABOUT HIKARI MISO:
Founded in 1936 in Nagano Prefecture, Japan, Hikari Miso Co., Ltd. is Japan’s leading miso manufacturer and the number one maker of certified organic miso in the world. Inspired by the pristine and natural environment of Nagano, the company has flourished in an area surrounded by what are known as the “Japanese Alps.” These snow-capped peaks are the water source for the company’s green-certified manufacturing plant located in the Iijima district.
Hikari Miso sells its products in Japan, the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Europe and the Middle East and maintains its US subsidiary, Hikari Miso International, Inc., in California. Hikari Miso was the first miso manufacturer in Japan to earn certified organic status and is also certified organic by USDA in the U.S. and to EU standards. The company honors traditional miso making process while embracing modern consumers’ need for high-quality, naturally and organically sourced products. Hikari Miso is dedicated to providing its customers around the world “Tradition You Can Taste and Trust.”
Hikari Miso Co., Ltd. Public Relations