Oyster Producers Expecting Demand from Households amid Epidemic

Economy Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Dec. 5 (Jiji Press)--Oyster producers in Japan are expecting brisk demand from households amid the trend to stay home due to the coronavirus crisis, as the winter delicacy is now in season.

While oyster shipments to restaurants have been sluggish due to people tending to avoid dining out amid the epidemic, producers and distributors are boosting efforts to boost sales to households.

Consumption of oysters, often deep-fried and used in hot pot dishes, has been declining in the country. According to internal affairs ministry surveys, the average amount of oysters purchased by households with two or more members in 2019 stood at 420 grams, down by over 30 pct from a decade before and by more than 50 pct from about 20 years before.

The drop was partly due to people less frequently cooking at home. A fish store official, however, said, "I expect people will eat a lot of oysters at home this season because of the trend to refrain from eating out amid the epidemic."

"Many fish stores are pinning high hopes on oysters and beefing up sales promotion activities" while catches of seasonal fish, such as saury and salmon, have been sluggish, an industry official said. High-quality oysters tend to be sold at supermarkets this season as demand from restaurants is falling, and an increasing number of stores are offering shelled oysters, said Shoko Izumi, head of Kaki no Kai, a Tokyo-based oyster promotion group.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press