Ukrainian agricultural producers may enter the Japanese market well. Despite the widespread myths about this country, the Japanese are innovators and very fond of experimenting and combining traditional Japanese products with exotic imported ones. They are not afraid to be import dependent, because their population has high incomes and can afford anything. The only nuance: they need to be interested, writes “New time”.
According to Yuriy Lutsenko, a partner of the consulting company Coin, the Japanese are interested in organic products without gluten or sugar. They are also interested in Ukrainian confectionery, pickles, borsch sauce, and due to the widespread idea in Japan that beet prolongs life, its popularity is also growing.
To enter the Japanese market you should, first of all, get through the big players, advises Irina Lukashuk, sales director of LiQberry, which in four months started selling blueberry paste to the Japanese market.
According to her, despite the fact that such a rapid entry of the company into the Japanese market is an unqualified success, they made the mistake of starting cooperation with the lower classes. Now things are going very slowly, so LiQberry changes its strategy.
“The system of doing business in Japan resembles a triangle, on top of which there are large traders. They lower the product to distributors, and those to retail chains,” she says.
According to Akiko Ohara, managing director of Foodex Japan, the import of goods to the Japanese market usually takes three years. The Japanese are very picky and cautious at the beginning, but if they start cooperating with you, they will be reliable partners for a long period of time.
“Many countries on Foodex represent national images. Ukraine can do the same, because building a national image is especially important for value-added products,” she says.
Today the Ukrainian company Agrofusion operates in the Japanese market this way, exporting tomato paste. Its Japanese buyers are interested in it due to the correct “story” that tomatoes are grown in the traditional region for them — in the Kherson region. At the same time, they certified their products according to Japanese organic standards and, thus, united traditions and innovations.
According to experts, what really does not interest the Japanese is raw materials. This niche in the Japanese market is either long occupied or is protected by duties.
Earlier it was reported that the potential volume of Ukrainian exports to Japan is $ 460 million. To date, Ukrainian buckwheat, tomato paste, wine, honey and confectionery products are already exported to this country.