JFOODO: Developing Miso Recipes Perfect for US Cuisine to Help Popularize Japanese Miso in America – Consumer Cooking and Eating Experiences Plus Online Cooking Resources

TOKYO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Japan Food Product Overseas Promotion Center (JFOODO) is taking a variety of initiatives to boost the brand image of Japan-sourced miso in the US with the intent of encouraging more people to use it.

The US is Japan’s largest buyer of miso, accounting for 25% of the country’s total miso exports in fiscal 20201. The US is also seeing increased interest in fermented foods as part of the growing popularity of healthy eating habits. JFOODO is going beyond promoting the health benefits of miso as a fermented seasoning to stressing its many great features and types, as well as its versatility and ease of use in a variety of recipes. Our hope is that these initiatives will spark an even greater interest in miso among American consumers.

This year, the organization decided to target consumers who cook regularly and live in areas expected to have high market potential (New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles area). We asked local recipe bloggers to develop miso recipes and launched our new Japanese miso brand site. JFOODO also built an online consumer community and took steps to provide consumer-led cooking and tasting experiences to promote the great features of Japan-sourced miso while giving people ways to prepare it.

1Trade Statistics of Japan (Ministry of Finance)

American recipe bloggers have developed new recipes that change the way people think about miso!

Miso is a highly-nutritious, probiotic fermented food that supports digestion, absorption, and overall intestinal health. Yet studies of US consumers reveal that although nearly half are inclined to eat or buy miso at a restaurant or retailer, just one in four actually purchase it to cook with at home. When asked why they weren’t buying miso for home use, the most common response was that they didn’t know what to do with it2. JFOODO decided that it needed to broaden the potential of Japan-sourced miso in the US, so it selected three American influencers who are avid recipe bloggers to spark people’s desire to cook with and eat miso. We also worked with the bloggers to develop four recipes that incorporated miso into everyday American dishes.

2Miso in the US: Quantitative Consumer Survey by JFOODO

Benefits of miso published on a new Japanese miso brand site

JFOODO also launched a new Japanese miso brand site in English to communicate the great features of miso to everyday American consumers as well as to restaurant and retail buyers. Developed under the supervision of the Japan Federation of Miso Manufacturer Cooperatives, the site provides a wealth of information about miso, including its different types, features, and health benefits. The site also showcases our newly-developed recipes, products from Japanese miso manufacturers who export to the US, and recipes designed to highlight the great features of miso–so that even American consumers unfamiliar with miso can get a basic understanding of it as well as easy access to Japan-sourced miso products they can buy locally and ways to cook with it.

Japanese miso brand site https://miso-jfoodo.jetro.go.jp/en/index.html

Other initiatives

Consumers experience miso for themselves through an interactive online community

To give American consumers an opportunity to experience the delights of Japanese miso, JFOODO set up an online community where people interested in miso could interact with one another while getting access to a wealth of miso-related information. The response was hugely positive, with two thousand people signing up to join in twenty days.

We selected 200 who were particularly interested in cooking with miso and active on social media, and sent them a package containing Japanese miso and the four recipes we developed so that they could cook and try it for themselves.

Special tie-up with a US food media outlet

We reached out to the American cooking media outlet MILK STREET to create articles, podcasts, online cooking events, and other communication tools targeting cooking enthusiasts in the US so that we could spread the word about the great potential of Japanese miso. The articles introduced a new Miso-Glazed Broiled Salmon recipe, while we also shared a recipe on a podcast that is currently enjoying great popularity. We also held an online cooking event for the general public, featuring two original miso recipes: Pan-Seared Steak with Miso Butter and Charred Broccoli with Miso Vinaigrette.

5 surprising ways to use miso: https://www.177milkstreet.com/2022/02/5-ways-to-use-miso
The best way to use miso: https://www.177milkstreet.com/2022/03/the-best-way-to-use-miso
What is miso, and how do you use it? :https://www.177milkstreet.com/2022/02/what-is-miso
Food thieves: Missing cows, fake fertilizer and heisted almonds (podcast): https://www.177milkstreet.com/radio/food-thieves-missing-cows-fake-fertilizer-and-heisted-almonds


For domestic or overseas inquiries, contact

Kazumi Shigemitsu, Miki Omagari or Mayumi Hamasaki at the Overseas Promotion Business Section, JFOODO

Phone: +81-(0)3-3582-8345 Email: JFB@jetro.go.jp
Official JFOODO website


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