Century-old Kubara Honke of Japan finds Hong Kong favors traditional seasoning

20, Feb. 2020

The first Kayanoya overseas retail store in Hong Kong on Jan. 21, 2020. (NNA)
The first Kayanoya overseas retail store in Hong Kong on Jan. 21, 2020. (NNA)

HONG KONG, NNA - Japanese food and seasoning maker Kubara Honke Co. has opened its first overseas retail store in Hong Kong, as local people in the territory have similar preferences in flavors to Japanese among other Asians.

The store under Kayanoya brand, located at city’super, a prime supermarket in the busy shopping district of Causeway Bay, has been promoting various recipes for Japanese miso soup, Chawanmushi egg custard, and other items since its opening last November.

The items contain either of eight kinds of Japanese “dashi” flavor made from dried bonito, Japanese shiitake mushrooms, chicken and vegetables.

The over 120-year-old food manufacturer aims to demonstrate how to use the unique flavors of such seasonings to local shoppers in Hong Kong, while also eyeing entry into mainland China.

Kubara Honke started joining overseas exhibitions in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan in 2015 with the aim of expanding its business abroad, finding that the favorite tastes among Hong Kong people are similar to those of Japanese. They also have high purchasing power, Hiromitsu Aoyagi, Chief of Global Business Planning Section of Kubara Honke Group Co., told NNA.

"We want to encourage local customers to use our products in their daily dining, even for Chinese dishes," he added.

As Japanese soups, especially those based on shiitake mushrooms and chicken, are familiar to Hong Kong people from Chinese cuisine, the store’s sales have so far reached the company’s target, he said, without disclosing actual figures.

Kubara Honke is considering opening new stores in Hong Kong as well as in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Shanghai among other cities in China.