Soybean paste maker Hanamaruki Foods to expand sales of shio koji seasoning in China

28, Jul. 2020

Photo by Egidijus Bielskis on Unsplash
Photo by Egidijus Bielskis on Unsplash

TOKYO, NNA – Japan’s Hanamaruki Foods Inc. is set to partner with local import agencies in Qingdao, China, to expand the sale of its liquid shio koji seasoning in the mainland market, the company said Monday.

The company, which makes miso, a fermented soybean paste, and other seasonings, set up a representative office on June 19 in Qingdao, where many meat and marine product processing companies are concentrated.

The 102-year-old maker headquartered in Ina, Nagano Prefecture in central Japan, said it has received product inquiries from Japanese food processing companies operating in China.

Hanamaruki will commission local agencies to promote sales of liquid shio koji, a traditional Japanese condiment made from fermented rice malt and salt, in the coastal province of Shandong and also explore the possibility of establishing a local subsidiary to directly import and sell the product.

China is the second country for Hanamaruki to set up a base as it seeks to expand its overseas business after establishing Hanamaruki (Thailand) Co. in Bangkok in 2015.

Earlier in 2020, Hanamaruki opened a factory in Thailand as a hub to export shio koji to overseas markets. It began shipping the product in February to local and overseas customers, and started shipping to China in early June.

Hanamaruki said its liquid shio koji sales have grown both in Japan and overseas after it launched the product in 2012. Total sale of shio koji, including the liquid form, reached 1 billion yen ($9.5 million) in 2018.

Hanamaruki holds a patent for the production of liquid shio koji in Japan, mainland China, the United States, Taiwan and Indonesia.