Regional Confectionery Makers Breaking Dependence on Tourists

Economy

Tokyo, Nov. 5 (Jiji Press)--Amid the novel coronavirus crisis, regional confectionery makers in Japan have started efforts to review their business models, which depend on demand from tourists, by developing new products or expanding sales channels.

According to Tokyo-based research company Fuji Keizai Co., the domestic market of confectionery souvenirs in 2020 shrank 43 pct from the previous year to 230 billion yen, as the virus crisis led to a plunge in the number of leisure and business travelers and eliminated demand from foreign visitors.

Aoyagi Souhonke, a long-established maker of the "uiro" sweet rice jelly, based in the central Japan city of Nagoya, suffered sales falls amid the epidemic.

Aiming to achieve its revival, the maker set its eyes on the growing popularity of the maritozzo cream-filled Italian bun in Japan.

After trial and error, Aoyagi Souhonke developed the "Kerotozzo" confectionery by putting cream into its mainstay "Kaeru Manju" frog-shaped cake filled with sweet bean paste.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press