Japanese major retailers are advancing product development using upcycled materials. Although the concept of upcycling has existed for a long time, with the rise in environmental awareness, retailers are actively developing products using discarded materials to appeal to consumers. Muji has been utilizing manufacturing offcuts to produce items such as sausages and foods made from unused and discarded local agricultural products. In May 2024, they added 4 more products to their lineup.

Muji, known for its philosophy of “creating a pleasant life and society,” has been dedicated to enriching everyday life with products and services that support the fundamentals of daily living. Since its inception in 1980, Muji has continuously produced items adhering to three core principles: selection of materials, inspection of processes, and simplification of packaging. In April, they launched a jelly made from the trimmings of fruits discarded during the production of canned mandarins and preserved apples used in apple pies.

Now, Muji is introducing two new products utilizing overlooked and discarded materials: “Agar Jelly with Fruit Peel” and “Stem Wakame.” The agar jelly is crafted from the trimmings of fruit peels and syrup leftover from their dry fruit production. These remnants are minced and mixed with mochi flour and agar to create a jelly infused with the natural flavors of the fruits used in the syrup. Additionally, the stem wakame is made from the tough base stems of wakame seaweed, previously discarded for being hard and difficult to eat. These stems are processed into bite-sized pieces and seasoned to enhance their palatability. Produced in Otsuchi Town, Iwate Prefecture, these wakame products not only support local seaweed farmers but also contribute to the recovery of the Sanriku region, which was heavily affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. This product offers a crisp texture, suitable as both a snack and an appetizer.

Muji has a history of creating value from waste, including making sausages from manufacturing trimmings and utilizing local discarded agricultural products. Continuing its commitment to environmental sustainability and producer welfare, Muji plans to keep selecting materials with care and minimizing waste in every step of its production processes, thus furthering its mission towards a more sustainable and enjoyable daily life.

Product Name Flavor Weight Price Description
Fruit Agar Mochi Kiyomi Orange 45g ¥190 Agar mochi featuring the fruitiness of Kiyomi oranges and a chewy texture, made with syrup and fruit peel remnants used in dry fruit production.
Fruit Agar Mochi Hassaku 45g ¥190 Agar mochi characterized by the slightly bitter taste of Hassaku and a chewy texture, made with syrup and fruit peel remnants used in dry fruit production.
Stem Wakame Ume Flavor 52g ¥290 Crispy textured Wakame from the Sanriku region, cut into bite-sized pieces and finished with plum vinegar. Conveniently packaged in individual packs.
Stem Wakame Light Salt 52g ¥290 Crispy textured Wakame from the Sanriku region, cut into bite-sized pieces and lightly salted. Conveniently packaged in individual packs.

 

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