Every day the average amount of food thrown out by a Japanese person could fill up an entire rice bowl. This food waste stands in contradiction to Japan’s low food self-sufficiency rate of 40%.
One cause of food loss is the commercial distribution practice known as the “one-third rule.” Under this practice, food makers or wholesalers should deliver products to retailers within the first third of the period that runs from the production date to the final sell-by date. If they are unable to meet that deadline, the retailers have a right to refuse the deliveries.
This practice was intended to ensure that consumers receive consistent quality for food products but the time constraints are much tighter than in other countries, resulting in food makers and wholesalers throwing out a huge amount of food with no quality issues.
In Japan, especially in metropolis, almost no one cooks at home - and this is entirely justified. It is worth noting that the quality of ready meals is higher than in any other country in the world, as well as the quality of raw materials, which is important, plus the Japanese mentality - attention to details and respect for other people, collectivism that has been developing for centuries, bringing everything to the ideal - all this is credible. Cooking at home is simply unprofitable - more expensive financially and spending free time on cooking and cleaning.
The most common type of store in Japan. In large metropolitan areas, kombini can be found at every turn, on one street there can be several stores of the same chain at once - in connection with the dominance policy. An interesting fact is that in kabini there is an opportunity to print or scan documents, take a photo for a passport, in some shops there is a medical corner where you can find out your weight and measure pressure.
Depachika (デ パ 地下 "underground deli") – convenient underground deli with ready meals, located at the exit of the subway. As a rule, large Japanese holding companies own them (Seibu, Mitsukoshi - a large chain of department stores - originates from the first kimono store in 1673). They offer a higher level of service and premium dishes.
Aeon is Asia’s largest hypermarket chain, founded in 1758 as a kimono store.
Daiei is a large chain of supermarkets-hypermarkets from Kobe.
BelX is a chain of stores with affordable prices.
The range is huge, as evidenced by a comparison with networks such as Auchan.
100 yen shops (百 hyaku yen shop) – 100 yen shops are one of Japan's attractions. Only in Tokyo there are hundreds of such stores, the most famous of them: Daiso, Can Do, Lawson100yen. For 100 yen, you can find ready meals with a shelf life of 1 year - for example goulash with rice in pouch.
FOOD FACTORIES AND ASSORTMENT
1-7 days SHELF LIFE
In Japan, dishes with a shelf life of 1-7 days are most popular. Much more attention is paid to the appearance - for example, on every Lawson supermarket chicken nuggets - a pattern is drawn using laser engraving.
The production of such dishes is carried out by large catering companies, with a division into factories for specialization:
Bento (lunches - for corporate dinners and grocery stores)
Productivity of individual factories 30-60 tons per day
FACTORY DELICA (ready meals for 7eleven). WORTH HIGHLITING THE JAPANESE SANSPANEL STATION AND THE PROCESS OF PASSING THE INSPECTION.
1-2 years SHELF LIFE
Pasteurized prepared dishes with a shelf life of 1-2 years are less in demand, but also have their own buyers. The main producers in Japan are Nisshin, Spice and Herb, the giants Glico (concurrently known for their snacks Pocky) and Otsuka (recently launched the zero meat line - ready-made dishes for vegetarians, made from textured protein).
The productivity of the factories of such manufacturers is 300 tons per day - 1 type sku - 1 day.
The assortment is based on - Japanese curry (an analogue of goulash with rice and spices), sauces and European dishes (pasta, mashed cutlet, risotto) - packed in spiders - doypack, plates and containers and tetrapack for cream soups (in particular, Sujahta ) In addition to dishes, factories produce dry broths, pasta broths, flour and pasta and spices.
These products are sold in hypermarkets and the same supermarkets - 7eleven, Lawson, MiniStop, Family Mart.