From April 20th through April 29th, 2022, RESOBOX Founder and President Takashi Ikezawa visited Hyogo, Okayama, Fukuoka, Saga, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, and Kagoshima. While there, he toured client companies in Japan that RESOBOX supports, mainly in Kyushu, to deepen his knowledge of commercial products and exchange opinions through direct dialogue with producers.
There were meetings with Fukuoka prefectural government officials in charge of export-related divisions, several JETROs, and other large-scale regional projects. These projects include Fukuoka Prefecture’s strawberry “Amaou,” which RESOBOX has been assisting with expansion into the U.S market since 2020, Yame tea, Japanese sake and shochu, and several others.
SUGIMOTO Shiitake Goes Worldwide!
SUGIMOTO Shiitake in Takachiho-Cho, Miyazaki Prefecture, is expanding its dried shiitake mushroom business worldwide. Mr. Kazuhide Sugimoto, a representative of SUGIMOTO Shiitake, gave a tour of the facilities, where we observed how they spent two years cultivating raw shiitake mushrooms in the mountains at an altitude of 600 meters before harvesting them and drying them with far-infrared rays at their factory. There was even an opportunity to eat shiitake mushrooms fresh from the log, which let us learn more about their appeal. Mr. Ikezawa also had the chance to converse with Mr. Fusao Kai, representative of Kai Agriculture and Forestry, one of the 600 contracted farmers, for more than two hours.
Ichigolus×Eileen’s Special Cheesecake Successful Collab!
Mr. Ikezawa toured the farms of Ichigolus inc (Tamana City, Kumamoto Prefecture), which recently held a very successful collaboration with renowned New York shop Eileen’s Special Cheesecake (see the article here for more details). Mr. Tatsunori Morikawa, CEO of Ichigolus, gave Mr. Ikezawa the chance to taste freshly harvested “Miyabi’s White” to see the difference in taste before and after transportation and explore problems during transport. They also had a chance to talk about the specific details of this year’s project.
Wakashio Syuzo Imo-Jochu Aims for the Global Market!
Wakashio Syuzo in Shibushi City, Kagoshima Prefecture, which develops and sells a gin based on imo-jochu (shochu made from sweet potatoes), is hoping to enter the global marketplace (see this article for more details about the US expansion of Wakashio Syuzo). During the tour of their facilities, Mr. Ikezawa was able to experience the aroma and taste of gin made in the world’s only wooden distiller. Mr. Yosuke Kamimura and Mr. Ken Yoshii of Wakashio Syuzo led the tour, and the three men exchanged ideas for new product development. RESOBOX also received glowing feedback about the tasting and marketing research conducted in our space, with the representatives from the distillery saying that it was helpful for future strategies and raised their employees’ motivation.
In addition to the above, RESOBOX visited several production sites and factories for products whose names and details cannot yet be disclosed. We had the valuable experience of touring factories and planting crops to get a firsthand look at what goes on there.
Our motto is to expand the potential of local Japanese products, starting in New York and expanding to the whole world, and we support Japanese companies in their overseas growth. We are committed to being a voice for our clients in the U.S. We regularly visit Japan and dialogue with Japanese producers to convey the full appeal of Japanese products and brainstorm new ideas for U.S. expansion. If your company is interested in our Japanese products, please contact us by email.