Suisan Times

Free Newsletter

The 11th Seafood Show:
Competitive, Elaborate Displays by Major Seafood Companies

July 23, 2009

Maruha Nichiro, Nippon Suisan, and Kyokuyo set up large stalls at the center of the Seafood Show site, offering energetic showcases.

Maruha Nichiro Introduces Frozen Amberjack and Tuna

Maruha Nichiro Suisan (President Shigeru Ito) and Maruha Nichiro Foods (President Michiro Sakai) collaboratively participated in the Seafood Show, with the theme of " Fish and Food Creations."

The following exhibitions were presented: bluefin tuna aquaculture, which the company aims to achieve full aquaculture cycle by 2010; frozen processed products of farmed amberjack, for which the company is working towards the cultivation of new distribution routes; and high quality farmed whiteleg shrimp and black tiger shrimp, cultured at its own aquaculture company, Agrobest, in Malaysia.

From Maruha Nichiro Foods, two of the Maruha Nichiro's universal design food brands, "Sozai de Soft" and "Yasashii Sozai," both of which use fish as the main ingredient. In addition, three food products for specified health use were displayed.

Nippon Suisan's Theme "Let's Eat Fish!"

In contrast, Nippon Suisan's booth promoted its own distinctive white fish fishery operation and surimi processing operation, and recommended fish diet based on research on consumers.

Nissui's exhibition theme was "Let's Eat Fish!" The main display and samples consisted of processed seafood products of hoki fish, such as fillet, "Sasagata Shiromi Fry" for professional use, and "Shiromi Sakana to Tartar Sauce Fry" for home use. Additionally, two products that used surimi, "Osakana no Sausage" and "Umikara Salad Flake," were presented.

At the company's stall, its effort to strengthen a function to access resources under the new TGL plan (from 2006 thru 2011) was exhibited. The company has proposed tight cooperation between fishery and food operations as one of the company policies since 2009, promoting an integrated company operation, which makes the best of its ability to access marine resources.

Kyokuyo Promotes Monde Selection Gold Medal

Kyokuyo placed great emphasis on the display and introduction of marine foods and presented its products in a clearly understandable manner. In addition to procurement power and high processing skills, the company's future strategies, such as its effort for the generation of convenient products were maximally presented in the forms of POP panels, sampling, and suggested menus.

Kyokuyo introduced about 50 different raw materials and products, i.e. sushi fish, frozen sushi, salmon, shrimp, tuna, and bonito; of which, the company emphasized Kyokuyo Marine Farm's bluefin aquaculture, which is awaiting the first harvest in October, and smoked salmon that received the 2009 Monde Selection Gold Medal.

It was unprecedented that a major seafood company was awarded the Gold Medal for smoked salmon. Its raw material is Chilean trout, produced by K & U Enterprise, a joint venture company in Thailand. Currently, the smoked salmon is distributed only in Japan; however, taking advantage of the award, the company aims to circulate the product at overseas markets. In actuality, the company has already begun shipping samples through the Kyokuyo Group's overseas subsidiary company, Kyokuyo Europe, located in Amsterdam, Netherland.

Last year's sales performance was 300 tons (on a weight basis). The company set the projected sales of 500 tons for this year, ceasing the opportunity of the award.

The original article was published on July 23, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Hayashikane Sangyo Unprecedentedly Raises Southern Bluefin Only with Formula Feed

July 16, 2009

Hayashikane Sangyo, located in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Pref., and overseen by President Tetsushi Hashimoto, is the company that unprecedentedly developed sausage shaped formula feed for tuna, "Tuna Food." It was announced on July 15 that the company succeeded in raising Southern bluefin tuna only with mixed feed, which was the pioneering case in the world.

In the fish cages of Australian Tuna Fisheries (ATF), located in Port Lincoln, the central area of the Southern bluefin tuna aquaculture industry in Australia, 2,000 tuna were experimentally fed only on "Tuna Food" from January this year. Compared with tuna raised only with fresh fish feed, tuna raised on this particular formula feed exhibited superior growth, size, and fat content, and was shipped to Japan as high quality tuna.

ATF President commented, "This technique will bring the breakthrough to tuna aquaculture methods and practices in Australia."

60% of Fresh Feed is Foreign Make

Australia imported over 60 percent of fresh fish feed for Southern bluefin tuna from other countries. The country made efforts to create compounded feed for over 10 years with communicable disease control and environmental protection in mind; however, research was running into rough waters.

As a result, in collaboration with Hayashikane Sangyo, which displayed traces of successful performances on formula feed production for bluefin tuna in Japan, "Tuna Food" was applied to Southern bluefin. Hayashikane Sangyo came to sign the contracts of manufacturing technique and licensing with Ridley Aqua Feed (RAF), an Australian feed manufacturer, in 2007. Hayashikane Sangyo, then, sold a "Tuna Food" manufacturing machine to the RAF and began a collaborative experiment with the ATF at Port Lincoln.

During the months of March and August 2008, 300 tuna fed on both fresh and "Tuna Food" exhibited a preferable result, better than only fresh feed. Thereafter, in January 2009, the experiment to unprecedentedly raise the fish only with "Tuna Food" ended in an excellent result. Southern bluefin tuna weighting 15.6kg in the beginning successfully grew to weight 33.7kg in a matter of five months.

Hayashikane Sangyo is willing to strengthen the on-site technology development where a mixed feed market is as big as 20,000 tons or more. The company plans for the same type of business expansion to Australia and other tuna aquaculture counties, such as EU.

The RAF will engage in the supply expansion of "Tuna Food" to other aquaculture operations, outside of the business operation with the ATF. The RAF is projecting a ten-fold sales increase in 2010, compared with the previous year.

The original article was published on July 16, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Maruha Nichiro Logistics: New System Under President Kawazoe Begins

July 16, 2009

Seigo Kawazoe, former executive director of Maruha Nichiro Holdings, was appointed as a new president of Maruha Nichiro Logistics, which possesses the number three storage capacity in the cold distribution industry, following Nichirei and Yokohama Reito.

It has been a little over a year since a merger between Maruha and Nichiro took place. "By pure accident" (President Kawazoe), an office was relocated to the Tokyo Suisan Building in Toyomi, Tokyo, in July. The head office, the head sales office, the sales office #1, and #2 were gathered up at the same location. The sales department and the customs department of the Kanto regional office also can be found in the same building.

The current number of business locations, including food plants, is 16 sites for the Kanto regional office with an installation capacity of 295,416 tons; three sites for the Chubu regional office with 41,898 tons; three sites for the Kansai regional office with 63,313 tons; and 16 locations for the Kyushu regional office with 180,726 tons.

With distribution sites based on the major metropolitan areas throughout Japan, Maruha Nichiro Logistics' network plays an indispensable role in the field of food distributions in the Pacific cold belt.

Establishment of Today's Management After Repeated Mergers

Maruha Nichiro Logistics' current history began, when "Maruha Cold Systems," a refrigeration holdings company 100 percent capitalized by old Maruha, was established in October 2002. Shin Nihon Cold, Umeda Reizo, and Taiyo Reito joined under the wing of Maruha Cold Systems. Plants directly managed by old Maruha were additionally consolidated.

The company name was altered to "Maruha Distribution Net" on April 1, 2004. Shin Nihon Cold, Umeda Reizo, and Taiyo Reito were bought out in April 2005. Moreover, Chukyo Reizo, Yashiro Reito, and Narita-Ichiba Reizo merged with Maruha Distribution Net in March 2006.

Mergers and acquisitions of the group refrigeration companies completed. Aiming to be one of the leading enterprises in Japan, which engage in cold distributions of foods both in reality and in name, the acquisition of ISO9001 certification, an inauguration of new logistics department, the unifying of uniforms, and personnel trainings were materialized. In April 2007, a cargo handling company was launched for every regional office. In October of the same year, the Maruha Nichiro Group was birthed. Responding to this major change, as a new group company within the Maruha Nichiro Group, the company name was again amended to "Maruha Nichiro Logistics" in April last year, succeeding old Nichiro's logistics business.

Diversified Services Expand Business

With its capability to respond to the three different temperature zones, frozen, chilled, and dry, Maruha Nichiro Logistics engages in storing and sorting a wide variety of products, such as marine foods, livestock products, agricultural products, and frozen foods. Making the best of a wealth of business performances and empirical knowledge, the company promptly responds to clients' needs in a sensitive manner.

The possessing of distribution centers surrounding the major trading ports gives the company the competitive edge in the storage of imported cold foods from overseas. With increasing dependency on imported foods, the company's role is resultantly growing larger.

In partnership with freight companies, Maruha Nichiro Logistics is building a refrigerated transportation network centered in the Kanto area, encompassing Japan. In addition, the company is involved in the collection of goods not only from its own distribution sites, but also from other companies' sites, providing services to safely and surely ship goods to destinations without jeopardizing product quality. Expanding the distribution network by deepening the cooperation with the partner freight companies, the company conducts high quality, efficient distribution services. The company is also undertaking "Plus One," which enhances the value of logistics business.

For the exports and imports of goods, the company offers services for procedure from a docking yard to a distribution site and customs clearance. The company realizes speedy and efficient distribution services by streamlining and integrating the whole process from customs clearance, storage, and distribution.

Furthermore, for distribution processing, the company engages in services for breaking bulk, repackaging, labeling, and light processing of goods, depending on clients' requests and needs.

The company also produces and sells ice, which is indispensable for the quality maintenance of fresh products. Additionally, frozen foods such as toasted rice ball burger, and ice for human consumption, i.e. penguin ice, are generated and sold by the company.

The original article was published on July 16, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Maruha Nichiro Introduces Tuna Aquaculture at Food Show

July 15, 2009

Maruha Nichiro Suisan, managed by President Shigeru Ito, and Maruha Nichiro Foods, supervised by President Michiro Sakai, will partake in the 11th Japan International Seafood Show, which will be held from July 22 through 24 at Tokyo Big Site. The company's theme will be "Fish and Food Creations." Its booth will be located at a section 15-11 of the East Second Hall.

The company will introduce the following business operations: bluefin tuna aquaculture, which the company aims to achieve full cycle aquaculture by 2010; frozen processed products of farmed amberjack, for which the company is making efforts to cultivate new distribution routes; and high quality farmed whiteleg shrimp and black tiger shrimp, raised at its own aquaculture company, Agrobest, in Malaysia.

In the category of foods, two of the Maruha Nichiro's brands, "Sozai de Soft" and "Yasashii Sozai" (tender material), both of which use fish as the main ingredient. These two brands are recognized as universal design food (nursing care food). In addition, the company will display three food products for specified health use.

The original article was published on July 15, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Maruha Nichiro Releases 56 New Autumn Lineups

July 15, 2009

Maruha Nichiro Foods, under management of President Michiro Sakai, announced 56 new autumn collections. The four key concepts of the autumn collections are 1) health appeal; 2) lunch support; 3) HOT- one moment; and 4) the cultivation of new demand. The concepts were generated in response to diversifying life styles and changes in market trends. The company suggested a projected sales amount of \17 billion.

Items with price appeal such as canned saury, chikuwa, and nori (dried laver), and higher grade items were proposed, in an effort to please the social trends of frugality and lower prices, as well as a polarizing consumer tendency to desire luxuries once in a while. In canned saury, which holds the top market share, "Akebono Hokkaido Saury Limited," as a high value added item, will be combined with another flagship item "Maruha BBQ Saury."

For chikuwa, considered as one of the must-haves as handy foods, "Puritto Umai Chikuwa" (fresh, tasty chikuwa) and "Uchino Chikuwa" (my chikuwa) will cover the entire market. As for nori, not only convenient "Onigiri Nori" (nori for rice ball), but also "Ichibantsumi Okazunori" (first picked seasoned nori), which was harvested in the Sea of Ariake and easily melts in the mouth, will be thrown into the market.

"Eco-Package" for Cheese Kamaboko

For fish sausage products, a packaging method, "Magic Cut," which can be easily opened by hand, will continue to be applied. For cheese kamaboko, completely clipless packaging, "Eco-Package" will be adopted. The company aims to emphasize the new packaging technique, which requires no clips and uses environmentally friendly nylon.

Nippon Suisan has already employed "eco-clip" for its fish sausage products; however, the "eco-package" by Maruha Nichiro uses a wrapping method. A machine, currently undergoing renovation, will make it possible to apply this new packaging practice for fish sausages.

For jelly products in the category of dessert, "Daimanzoku Jelly de Zero: Peach flavor with nata de coco" and "Jelly de Peach flavor" will be put in to the market.

President Sakai Says, "We Aim to Become Company Which Continuingly Embodies Value"

At a press meeting to announce the new products, Maruha Nichiro Foods President Sakai touched on the first quarter business performance. The foods segment of the Maruha Nichiro Holdings' reported results are as follows: sales of \71.1 billion, or 98.8 percent year over year, and an achievement rate against a midterm management plan, 98.8 percent; and operating profit of \3.2 billion, or 144.8 percent, and an achievement rate of 130 percent. President Sakai said, "In addition to the relatively stable costs of raw materials and ingredients, expanded sales of main commercial products and a 10 percent contribution rate of new spring products were conducive to a profit gain."

He also asserted, "In the midst of the strengthening consumer conservative consciousness and slumping domestic consumption impacted by the falling birthrate and the aging population, if we fail to provide products with real value, we will be dumped into the dustbin as a food manufacturer. We aim for Maruha Nichiro Foods evolving with changes."

The original article was polished on July 15, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Australian Ranched Southern Bluefin Tuna Promoted

July 13, 2009

An Australian fisheries group announced at the Australian Embassy on July 9 that Australian bluefin tuna would be marketed as a brand, "Minami Sodachi."* The group will promote the fish's safety and high quality to the Japanese market in an attempt to expand demand. Starting on July 10, bluefin tuna sashimi will be sold at supermarkets nationwide. Such new information as recipes can be obtained at retailers or a website:

"Minami Sodachi," ranched in the waters of Southern Australia, is a unified brand of bluefin tuna. The fish possesses three important elements: safety, taste, and high quality. Mr. Brian Jeffriess, Chairman of the Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association (ASBTIA), expressed his enthusiasm: "Demand for high-end tuna is high, and therefore, we aim to offer a stable supply of high grade tuna at a reasonable price. We hope that consumers, who want to enjoy high-grade tuna, associate this brand as such."

Nationwide Promotion Begins

Some of Mexican ranched tuna failed to be auctioned off at Tsukiji Market last year. In addition, the increasing production amount of ranched tuna in Japan is leading to a fierce sales competition of tuna in the Japanese market. Referring to this concern, Chairman Jeffriess said, "Last year, we managed to supply the unchanged amount of tuna to Japan, while other countries experienced the declining supply amount. The resources amount of tuna is limited. Ranching tuna in cages 40m deep to boost yield will enhance our competitive edge."

Shigeyuki Tanaka, Representative of the ASBTIA's Japan office, said, "We will support the marketing strategies of partner companies. We also developed new recipes of Southern bluefin tuna with the help of Hattori Nutrition Institute. We plan to share these recipes with consumers every season at supermarkets nationwide. Additionally, we intend to aggressively respond to the needs as they come, including promotional tools for the restaurant industry."

The ASBTIA commenced promotional activities in collaboration with the Australia Fair, held at branch stores of a leading supermarket chain, AEON, from July 10. Promotional tools were employed at AEON's 280 stores throughout Japan. After a press conference, business partners and clients were invited to a tasting event. In addition to sushi and sashimi, newly invented Southern bluefin tuna tempura, garlic salad, and other wide variety of recipes were displayed.

A manager of a major sushi restaurant chain praised the high quality of Australian bluefin tuna, "There is no strong smell, unlike the Mexican variety; and it is delicious."

According to the ASBTIA, the 2008 yield of Australian ranched Southern bluefin tuna amounted to 9,500 tons; it accounts for 15 percent of market share in Japan. The group plans for production expansion to 15,000 tons by the year of 2010.

NOTE from a translator:

* The meaning of "Minami Sodachi": 'minami' as one word means South; 'mi' means beautiful and 'nami' ocean wave in Chinese character; 'sodachi' means grown or bred.

The original article was published on July 13, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

News Topics INDEX
(C) Copyright 2004-2010, Suisan Times Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.