Italy’s Barilla Group has identified Japan as one of its top priorities for the next phase of its further international expansion.
The company has set itself the ambitious medium-term goal of becoming a leader in the world's sixth largest pasta market by value, increasing its share from the current 3% to 20%, reports daily Il Sole 24 Ore.
To this end, last year it launched a broad reorganization of its business in Japan, leaving its previous importer, Nisshin Seifun, and signing a new commercial partnership with Mitsubishi Shokuhin, the food unit of trading company Mitsubishi Corp.
Moreover, Barilla has doubled marketing expenses and will, for the first time, directly target Japanese consumers via TV campaigns as well as social media.
The Italian company is especially interested in educating the Japanese public regarding the quality and variety of pasta, including the new health-conscious segment.
The challenge is certainly an ambitious one since there are also other countries are tackling the Japanese market with very competitive prices.
In Japan, the average pasta consumption per person is 2.4 kg against 22.6 kg in Italy, so there is space for growth in the market, according to country manager Antony Strianese.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine