Easily Accessible Protein, Also Available via Subscription

Rise of Discounts: Supermarkets React to Consumer Thrift with Increased Sales Promotions.

The demand for refrigerated ready-to-eat protein dishes is booming. Following the popularization of salad chicken, which became widespread through convenience store offerings in the mid-2010s, bar-shaped products that can be eaten straight out of the bag have emerged, featuring a variety of ingredients such as fish and tofu. With consumers increasingly concerned about excessive carbohydrate intake and protein deficiency, these products are being consumed as alternatives to rice balls or bread.

In spring 23, Nissui released ‘Osakana Bar’ (priced around 200 yen), using surimi made from ingredients like Alaska pollock, commonly found in foods like fish cakes, and incorporating ingredients such as edamame and cheese into a bar-shaped form. Each bar provides approximately 10 grams of protein.

Initially, the flavor range at the time of release was more traditional Japanese, featuring flavors like hijiki, edamame, burdock root, and lotus root. However, in autumn, they targeted a younger demographic by introducing cheese and tomato flavors. In spring 24, they will introduce a new flavor, cheese and almond. They also revamped the package design to a more modern look, using bright colors like red and yellow, making the ‘protein’ and ‘proteins’ labeling more prominent.

According to Nissui, compared to traditional surimi products like fish cakes, Osakana Bar has a higher proportion of buyers in the 20-30 age group, indicating that it’s reaching its targeted consumer demographic.

In autumn 22, Suzuhiro Kamaboko (located in Odawara City, Kanagawa Prefecture) released the ‘Fish Protein Bar,’ a stick-shaped surimi product made from white fish, designed to be eaten with one hand, in supermarkets and other outlets for around 300 yen (excluding tax). Each bar contains approximately 8 grams of easily digestible, low-fat protein derived from fish. While many of the company’s surimi products, such as kamaboko, are typically sliced with a knife and consumed at the dining table, this product was designed to be consumed immediately, on-the-go or during exercise breaks. The packaging design emphasizes the protein content, appealing to those seeking protein supplementation. As of February 8, 24, they have sold a total of 214,000 units, with sales performing well according to the company.

Starting from October 23, they also launched a subscription service for the ‘Fish Protein Bar’ where customers can subscribe online. For 3800 yen per month (including shipping), customers receive a set of 9 bars delivered to their doorstep each month, providing a convenient way to maintain their protein intake habits.

 

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