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Food Supermarket Inageya Invigorates Fish Section with Various Ideas

November 24, 2009

Inageya, located Tachikawa City, Tokyo (President Masatoshi Endo), is attempting to invigorate the fresh fish department with various ideas.

Kawagoe Asahi-Machi Store, just opened in Saitama Prefecture on Nov 18, is considered as a prototype of the company's SSM (Super Super Market), which based on the companyfs standard is more than 500 tsubo (1,650 sq. m) and records daily sales of more than \5 million. Therefore, a number of experimental measures are implemented. The fresh fish department in particular employed a slew of exploratory concepts; a product commercialization manual was altered. In assorted sashimi, various different combination patters were introduced without changing the fish contents, offering more choices to customers. Product displays were given more attention this time by adding slices of lemon. In fillet, fish was cut in accordance with different purposes.

At a storefront, a new idea to post purchasersf photos and comments using POP was introduced. For example, for fresh oysters from Miyagi Prefecture, a note that said gthese oysters were washed in nano bubble water, so you can eat them as they are without washing themh aroused customersf buying desire. For ikejime yellowtail, the fact that the fish was given feed mixed with banana polyphenol was emphasized.

The company plans that the fresh fish department will account for 10.5 percent of an annual sales goal of \2.22 billion. The new store expanded the deli department which tended to be crowded before. At the deli section that is run by a group company, Cooksun, fish deli was given its own space named gFish Power.h A new cooking device that uses far-infrared ray was installed in the kitchen, which would enable to evenly cook fish and keep its flavor inside with a crispy outside. The company said that the finish is totally different from a conventional steam convection oven. Other than broiled fish products, such as gKing Salmon Saikyo Yakih (broiled saikyo miso marinated king salmon) gShima Hokke Shio Yakih (broiled atka mackerel), and gMero Kama Teriyakih (patagonian toothfish collar teriyaki), a plenty of boiled fish products were added.

Figure 1: Stimulating customersfpurchasing desire, using POP

The original article was published on November 24, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery Accepts Applications for Traceability Management Verification Project

November 17, 2009

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery is now accepting applications for a project for traceability-lot management system verification. The aim of this project is to verify lot management systems, to clarify detailed methodologies and effectiveness of management systems, and to resultantly accumulate referential cases needed upon introducing traceability systems in accordance to the reality of businesses in the future.

The government will provide a financial aid up to \4 million or a half of the project cost, for the following contents of the project: examination and demonstration of a lot management system improvement, such as edefinition of a lot,f efractional management,f esecurement of the inside traceability,f as well as edisplay and record of lot numbers,f and resultant verification of costs and effectiveness, and/or examination of a lot management improvement by conducting retrospective and tracking tests.

The succeeding matters differentiate the project this time from the past subsidized traceability related projects: one single business entity is eligible for the project; and expenses associated with clerical work for examination, deliberation, verification, and result will be subsidized, though hardware and/or information system development will not be sponsored.

The period given to the project is until March next year. The Ministry said, encouraging proactive responses, gWe believe that this project comes very useful for those businesses that have planned for reexamination, retroactivity, and tracking test of a lot management system.h Applications are accepted until Nov. 20.

The original article was published on November 17, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Nippon Suisan Posts \1.3B Operating Deficit in Marine Business, Despite \1B Net Income

November 13, 2009

Nippon Suisan posted its consolidated financial settlement for the second quarter (April to Sep): sales \241.2 billion (down 6.9 percent year to year); operating earnings \3.805 billion (up 52 percent); ordinary profit \3.04 billion (up 172.7 percent); and net income \1.031 billion (a deficit of \2.069 billion year to year).

Marine Products Business registered drastic declines in revenue and profit, resulting from drops in sales of the main fish merchandises and plunges in sales prices. This division recorded the sales of \85.732 billion, down 16.7 percent, compared with the corresponding period last year; and the operating loss of \1.358 billion, which was a profit of \965 million last year.

In domestic operations, though Kyowa Suisan became a consolidated subsidiary, the division had to post a loss on inventory write-downs because of declines in sales figures of the main fish commodities, such as surimi, crab, salmon, trout, and cod roe, due to an economic downturn, as well as plunges in sales prices.

In overseas operations, the surimi production amount and its sales price in North America slumped. On top of a drop in catch amounts by a fish catching company in South America, sales volume slacked in Europe and Asia; and sale prices also plunged. Salmones Antartica S.A. in Chile managed to improve its performance as a result of successful efforts. As for Nissui Indonesia, the company said, gWe are at a deciding moment; we will either sell it or withdraw.h

Kneaded Fish Product Sales Play Major Part

In Foods Business, in spite of the increased sales of frozen and normal temperature foods, especially kneaded fish products, chilled foods for convenience stores experienced a drop in sales proceeds due to price reductions. In overseas operations, sales amounts of frozen foods in North America and Europe shrank, ending in the sales of \130.841 billion with a contraction of 0.9 percent. Operating profit, on the other hand, displayed a considerable improvement, marking \2.691 billion, which was a deficit of \659 million last year.

General Distribution Business posted the sales of \5.797 billion, up 3.8 percent; and the operating earnings of \951 million, down 1.6 percent, as a consequence of slacking moves of goods in cold storage operations.

Fine Chemicals Business reported the sales of \11.774 billion with a 4.9 percent rise and the operating proceeds of \2.446 billion with a 0.5 percent fall. These results stemmed from the increased fix charge from the construction of an additional facility at Kashima Plant, in spite of smooth operations of pharmaceutical and health foods businesses.

The business forecasts of the fiscal year ending in March 2010 are the sales of \480 billion (down five percent year over year); the operating earnings of \8.5 billion (up 169.3 percent); the ordinary profit of \7 billion; and the net profit of \2 billion.

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

Truck Show Introduces Many Proposals to Improve Cold Distribution

November 13, 2009

A slew of vehicles, indispensable to cold distributions, and related technologies were showcased at the 2009 Tokyo Truck Show.

Nippon Fruehalf Co. presented a reference exhibit of gFruehalf Wing-Ace Cool,h a mid-size temperature controlled truck with a cold wing body. The new features of the truck are its extended inside container height (2,300mm), an installation of the companyfs self-developed freezer, and its lighter body weight (330kg).

Yano Special Vehicle Co. showcased three vehicles, newly developed with environment-responsiveness in mind. One of them was a long lasting freezer truck gLong Life Body,h presented at the show in collaboration with Runtec Co., a chilled transportation company. No wood was used in the vehicle. Door materials consisted of a corrosion-inhibiting resin and a basal plate was made out of FRP, which reduces corrosion caused by a snow melting agent. All these components enabled the vehiclefs long life. The cargo and chassis wiring could be connected with ease; in addition, parts that would get easily deformed could be replaced and rebuilt without any difficulty. After passing its expected lifetime, the vehiclefs body could be restored to its original state with a minimal amount of time and money. Reusing the vehicle would contribute to natural resource saving.

Additionally, a collaborative model with Denso Co., gWaza-ari Freezer Car D-Series,h was also displayed. Densofs high efficiency ejector cycle freezer made the maintenance of -20C possible. Improved fuel efficiency was achievable by installing a super-insulated body. The environment of the inside of the vehicle was pleasant, as well. For a basal plate, a new model of sanitary multi floor, which is light and easily maintained, was installed and LED was used for interior lights.

Furthermore, a freezer truck with a bigger capacity gPlus Two,h on which two extra T11 size pallets could be loaded, was introduced. The company marketed the vehiclefs ability to reduce environmental burden by enhancing transportation efficiency. The truckfs body was 10m long. A transportation capacity of 18 T11 size pallets (nine pallets parallelly) was possible in normal temperature transportation; however, there was no such case in cold transportation before. Ryojyu Coldchain Cofs light and compact freezer was installed and also a noise-reducing sub-engine was employed.

Toyota Suggests Use of Hybrid Technology for Freezer Vehicle

Toyota Motor Co. showcased gNext Generation Idle Stop Freezer Car,h which had a hybrid system coupled with an electric chiller. Driving an electric compressor with power supply from a hybrid battery made power saving and energy efficiency possible. A thin freezer unit with an ejector cycle system and collaboration control of a vehicle and a freezer enabled power reductions, powerfully chilling a cargo despite its energy efficiency nature.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries presented an unprecedented hybrid forklift with diesel engine gGrendia Hybrid.h This hybrid system is a combination of the companyfs self-developed lithium-ion battery, a high efficiency motor, and a small diesel engine that complies with new emission regulations, realizing an excellent environment and energy design.

Fukuoka Unyu drew visitorsf attention and interest by exhibiting the Japanfs first mechanical refrigerator car. This freezer car was created by the companyfs founder, Shizu Tominaga, in collaboration with Yano Special Vehicle and Nissan Diesel Motor Co. and was commercialized in 1958.

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

NSEC Holds Seminar on Salmonfs Contribution to Beautiful Skin

November 12, 2009

For gSalmon Dayh on Nov. 11, the Norwegian Seafood Export Council (NSEC) held a seminar gDietary Recommendations for Beautiful Skin: You Can Become Beautiful! Secrets of Norwegian Salmonh in Tokyo, with the participation of a registered nutritionist Erica Angyal, well known as a nutrition consultant for a Miss Universe Japanese pageant. Ms. Angyal introduced a recipe gSuper Bijin (Beauty) Chirashi Sushi,h using salmon and colorful vegetables, to about 20 participating female recipe bloggers.

NSEC Japan Office Representative Hans Petter Nas presented information about the breeding environment of Norwegian salmon and its high quality.

gHealth benefits of fish are widely known; however, few people know salmonfs effective properties for skin and anti-aging,h he explained the main purpose of the seminar.

Ms. Angyal emphasized the importance of diet: gJust like the internal organs, skin is a mirror that reflects your health. It is more important to polish the inside with a healthy diet than spend money on cosmetics. You see cosmetics on the table.h

The said recipe gSuper Bijin Chirashi Sushih is an ultimate beauty recipe made from gunpolished foodstuff (brown rice and brown sugar),h ghigh quality oils (olive, avocado, and almond oils),h and gcolorful vegetables (carrot, grape tomato, and bell pepper)h which she recommends are good for beauty and health.

Referring to the main ingredient, Norwegian salmon, she said, gIn addition to such fatty acids as DHA and EPA, an antioxidant element astaxanthin can be found in the fish. It is a perfect material for anti-aging. I recommend salmon be consumed two to three times a week.h She highly praised the fish.

After a talk show, a gSuper Bijin Salmonh meal set, containing chirashi sushi, grilled salmon, and miso soup, was sampled by all the participants. Female bloggers, who create and post recipes on a regular basis, were all impressed with the novel chirashi recipe that used pickled ginger, almond, avocado, and others. They threw a slew of questions about diet to Ms. Angyal, who has charismatic popularity.

Mr. Nas commented on the recipe: gWe donft eat salmon in this way in Norway; it is very fresh and exquisite.h

Figure 1: Mr. Nas and Ms. Angyal

The original article was published on November 12, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Wholesales price of Mackerel Varieties Plunges 26% to \58

November 12, 2009

According to the Area Production Seafood Distribution Statistics for September released by the Director-General of Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery, the total harvest amount of mackerel varieties ran up to 54,318 tons, down nine per cent or 5,350 tons, in a year to year comparison. By fishing port, Choshi (Chiba pref.) and Matsuura (Nagasaki pref.) among others displayed significant declines.

A wholesale price of mackerel varieties was \58, ending in a decrease of \20 or 26 percentage points, compared with the same month a year ago.

September Local Production Seafood Distribution Statistics
(amount: t, year-to-year comparison: %; price: yen/kg )
 Catch AmountPrice
Tuna (frozen)141405661,7421,71255
Albacore (frozen)35314,61716631127769
Bigeye (frozen)1,52713,1738487979093
Yellowfin (frozen)9155,7428151854291
Bonito (frozen)13,626154,4198913114973
Japanese Sardine3,13430,2042118910292
Round Herring3,06614,44691406097
Japanese Anchovy1,69867,11884333461
Japanese Jack Mackerel10,78083,82610410416070
Mackerel varieties54,318228,04591587181
Atka Mackerel10,12557,45272404776
Japanese Flying Squid13,19442,11516512414590
Japanese Flying Squid
(frozen; far seas)
Japanese Flying Squid
(frozen; shore)

The original article was published on November 12, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

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