National

Japan food producers eye disaster preparation market

JIJI

In a country where natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons are commonplace, food producers are increasingly calling on consumers to keep an emergency stockpile containing products that they regularly eat.

These companies are promoting the idea that each household should keep a rolling stockpile as a way of constantly updating disaster food supplies, in which old food stock is regularly replaced with new items while consuming the older food before its best-before dates.

Keeping a rolling stockpile is said to increase people’s awareness of disaster prevention and also has a stress-reducing effect that comes from a sense of security for being well prepared.

The agriculture ministry recommends the rolling stockpile method to prepare for natural disasters and suggests keeping a stockpile of at least three days’ worth of food and water.

Food producers are eager to offer products that can become part of customers’ rolling stockpile. By having customers regularly purchase their products, these companies hope to build a long-term relationship with them.

Nissin Food Products Co. sells a stock set for disasters through its website at ¥14,300. The set includes the company’s mainstay Cup Noodle products as well as a portable gas stove, a gas cartridge, a cooking pot and water.

With an additional three-month subscription fee of ¥2,160, nine replacement Cup Noodle and other instant noodle and rice products of the customer’s choice will be delivered every three months.

“We want to deliver our customers a feeling of security that they can eat the same familiar instant noodles even at times of disaster,” said Nissin Food President Noritaka Ando.

Asahi Group Foods Ltd. sells a set of nine freeze-dried rice porridge, risotto and other meals that can be stored at room temperature and be consumed by pouring hot water on them, together with an evacuation manual, for ¥5,000 online.

Demand for the product tends to grow after a natural disaster has occurred, a company official said, adding that it is also popular as a gift.

TableMark Co. sells microwaveable vacuum-packed rice products that can also be boiled at times of emergency.

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