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Kamitori- Japanese restaurant in Eugene

18 Nov

(Top: David Panevin/ Left: lotusutol/ right: toyohara)

I was very excited when this Japanese restaurant opened a year and half ago, The name is Kamitori. The owner is from Kumamoto, on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu. He named the restaurant after the street in Kumamoto. The restaurant provides fresh seafood as sashimi and sushi. Although it may be a little expensive restaurant for students, the restaurant has kept its popularity in Eugene. The restaurant does not promote itself so much, but it is very popular. Most people know, or at least heard, about it. Why?

One of the reason is word of mouth advertising. I have told Kamitori to at least 15 new exchange students from Japan as well as American after my first try because I was satisfied the quality and enjoyed my meal. I think most customers have done the same thing as I have. EVen they do not have a flyer or poster, word of mouth is very strong and certain advertisements.

Other reason is Kamitori owns its website. It is nor common for the local restaurants to have their own website. You can find the reviews on Yelp, but not the restaurant website. This is a big factor of the Kamitori’s success. On the website, you can see menu, pictures and hours information. Also the first sentence you will see is “Are you tired of American style sushi?” It definitely interests people who like Japanese sushi and Asian food.

Also, the owner trains the part-time workers very strictly. The owner cares about the workers’ manners and attitudes for customers. Several friends has worked at the restaurant, but half of them quit the job because of the strictness. It is tough for workers, but I promise customers can have a nice time.

Kamitori is a good example of the local business. They provide high quality foods in a good atmosphere. This basic helps it to gain its reputation and position itself as a most popular Japanese restaurant in Eugene.


Raumen museum

11 Nov

Do you like to visit museum? What kind of museum do you like? Art museum? science museum? Here is a museum you may be interested in: ~Ramusement park~ Shinyokohama Raumen museum.

This museum is not a typical museum with a ramen history. You can actually eat a ramen. You can try nine different ramens as well as traditional old Japanese restaurant, bakery, and fortune telling. Also, The term “Ramusement park” is discribes the museum concept well.

The concept of the museum is Showa period, which is the time from 1926 to1989 in Japanese history. When it comes to Showa period, Ramen is one of the typical things.

As I mentioned, you can try a special ramen from nine districts. It is good marketing for the ramen shop not from Tokyo or main cities in Japan. People living in Tokyo area visit at the museum and find a ramen they like. Then, they will actually travel to the city and try the ramen over there. It is good not only for the ramen shop, but also for the tourism. Some ramen shops have succeeded to promote the ramens at the museum  and they could have expanded their business to Tokyo, and other cities.

If you have  a chance to visit in Japan, the Ramen museum would be a good place to experience the Japanese culture with great food!

Are you Pockying?

12 Oct

Pocky: Japanese chocolate covered stick snack produced by Ezaki Glico. You might have seen these package in the store here too (picture below).

(By *Sherima*)

Pocky has been sold since 1966 and still has a tremendous popularity among all ages for decades. The name “Pocky” was named after Japanese onomatopoeia, pokkin. Glico’s Pocky marketing is a unique, but simple.

1. Pocky TV commercial is famous for interesting and eye-catchy visual, and most of famous actress have been appointed to the advertisements. For your information, celebrities are important figures for advertisements in Japan. How popular they are is a key to promote the products successfully, while the message and the brand are taken seriously in the U.S. Regardless of products, all fans of a celebrity purchase the products that the celebrity promotes. TV commercial for Pocky is a gateway for novice actress to be famous since 1975. The girl is called “Pocky girl,” and you are guaranteed to be popular after life, If you are chosen for the promotion girl. Here is a recent commercial:

The commercial is colorful, rhythmical, and eye-catchy, and the song is stuck in your head easily.

2. Another successful campaign they did was to create a “Pocky and Pretz day”, which is November 11 because  the shape of these stick snacks resembles the number 1. Pretz is another long-selling snack by the same company, Glico. Actually, Pretz is original and Pocky is chocolate covered Pretz. This once a year campaign are easy to remember and celebrate. Also every year, Glico sets a different concept in Nov. 11 and it uses Twitter hashtag to expand its influence these days (Last year, if you tweet your activity with either Pocky or Pretz from 11:11 a.m. to 12:59 p.m., you would receive various snacks from Glico).

3. Also, there is a game called “Pocky game”: When two people eat at each end of a chocolate dipped bread stick (Aka Pocky) until their lips meet. Who ever pulls away last is the winner of the game ((Urban dictionary “Pocky game”) .

This is one of most popular game especially among middle school and high school (Of course I have played).  Although Pocky is loved by all generations, a key public is students from 13 to 18 years old.

Glico has successfully established its position as a confectionary company. Glico still more innovates tasty and surprising food,  and entertains its public. Although Pocky is sold in supermarket in the U.S., there is many opportunity to expand Glico’s business here using its unique promoting way.