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Firms see biz opportunity in ‘tasty, low-salt’ foods

Jiji Press

Jiji Press
Low-salt food using ponzu citrus-based soy sauce introduced by Mizkan Holdings Co. is seen in Nagoya on Jan. 26.

Jiji Press NAGOYA (Jiji Press) — Japanese supermarket operators and food makers are striving to develop demand for “tasty and low-salt” food products in response to an increase in health-conscious consumers.

Bland-tasting low-salt foods leave many consumers unsatisfied, even if they want to look after their health.

Aiming to tap into these consumers, many companies are promoting low-salt products that are tasty.

This spring, supermarket operator Uny Co., based in the city of Inazawa in Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, will expand its lineup of low-salt products, such as “tsukemono” Japanese-style pickles and seasonings, to more than 50 items.

The unit of FamilyMart Uny Holdings Co. is aiming to “sweep away” the public’s view that low-salt products are not tasty by highlighting the new products flavored with dashi Japanese soup stock and spices, said Kurumi Koike, a senior official of Uny.

This month, food maker Yamamori Inc., based in Kuwana, Mie Prefecture, will release a soup for somen noodles with the salt content cut by some 30 percent compared with normal products by the increased use of dashi made from bonito flakes.

Seasoning maker Mizkan Holdings Co., based in the city of Handa in Aichi, has introduced dishes seasoned with vinegar or its ponzu citrus-based soy sauce in place of salty normal soy sauce in television commercials and other media, aiming to boost sales of its mainstay vinegar products.

Replacing the same amount of soy sauce with ponzu will cut the amount of salt by some 40 percent, a Mizkan official said.

Besides supermarket operators and food makers, hamburger chain Mos Food Services Inc., the operator of Mos Burger fast-food outlets, is using a dressing with the salt content reduced by some 25 percent compared with the company’s previous products.Speech

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