CNET Japan published an in-depth article about our most recent program Food Tech Studio — Bites! The launch event, which took place virtually on September 30th, introduced program details as well as key interviews with the partners and mentors who make this program unique and innovative.
The event was in Japanese so we are sharing a translation of CNET Japan’s article to highlight who these iconic food leaders are and how they view the future of food tech.
Read the full English translation here.
Hitoshi Hokamura, partner at Scrum Ventures, introducing Food Tech Studio -Bites!
As Hitoshi Hokamura from Scrum Ventures, who has been working to raise food tech awareness in Japan for over a decade said, “Japan is a gastronomic powerhouse where safe and delicious foods are available at reasonable prices. I think we owe a big part of that to the Japanese food companies that developed various technologies 50 to 60 years ago. Cutting edge products such as instant noodles, soy protein, and ready-to-eat meals in sealed pouches changed food culture around the world. Japanese food companies were the original innovators.“
With these original food innovators, the startups accepted into the program will be exploring how their technologies may be applied to the Japanese and global markets, potentially partnering to create new products or business models.
The partners of the program are:
FUJI OIL HOLDINGS, INC. (Fuji Oil)— Founded in 1950, they have long been focused on plant-based products such as meat alternatives, cream, and cheese using soybeans. While they are experts at making plant-based products delicious, they joined Food Tech Studio -Bites! to further apply their technology with startups and new food concepts.
NISSIN FOODS HOLDINGS CO., LTD (Nissin)— They are the inventor of instant noodles, a globally recognized and appreciated food product that changed how we eat. They launched “Beyond Instant Foods Lab” in 2019 to explore how new technologies and digital data can be used in how we eat and cook.
ITO EN, LTD. (Itoen) — Their brand in Japan is synonymous with green tea, and they have been expanding internationally introducing their healthy alternative to sugary sodas. They handle 25% of Japan’s unprocessed green tea and have over 160,000 vending machines around Japan that program startups can take advantage of to create new business opportunities.
Juchheim Co., Ltd. (Juchheim) — In addition to being a partner for Food Tech Studio -Bites!, they are launching BAUMS HAUS, an innovation lab to match start-ups with the manufacturing companies in confectionery, food, and beverage markets in Japan. They aim to lower the barrier for startups to enter the market.
NICHIREI CORPORATION (Nichirei) — As the largest frozen food distribution company in Japan, they use research and data to better understand customer food preferences to personalize their products more effectively. They hope program startups will take advantage of their unique expertise and technologies.
Otsuka Holdings Co., Ltd. (Otsuka) — Founded in 1955, Otsuka Foods launched Bon Curry — the world’s first commercial retort food product. As an alternative to canning, they were able to deliver tasty food that was easy to transport and heat up. With food safety an increasingly important aspect of our food supply, their technology and innovation is relevant and prime for further innovation.
Read the translated CNET Japan article, written by Yasushi Anzo, to learn more about currently available innovative food technology and products by these partners, as well as an insightful side by side tasting of the most reputable Wagyu Hamburg steak from Japan’s famous restaurant Kakunoshin and the Impossible Burger beef patty.