Following an internal announcement on 20 December, HelloFresh quietly closed its operations in the country on 31 December.
Staff were understood to be blindsided by the announcement.
In an internal email to HelloFresh management on 20 December, international CEO Thomas Griesel said that the group 'has made the decision to leave the Japanese market and fully focus our efforts on growth in other markets'.
He added that the 'pressure and increased focus on profitability', as well as the 'long (and likely bumpy) road ahead to get to reasonable unit economics in Japan' were factors that led to its decision.
Elsewhere, in an email to staff two days later, Griesel described the decision as 'one of the toughest we've had to take in our 11 year history', adding that it is 'in no way a reflection on any of the fantastic work you have all put in'.
Launch Of Japan Operations
HelloFresh commenced its operations in Japan in April 2022, with chief executive Dominik Richter commenting at the time, "It is definitely our plan that we want to learn more about the Asian markets and how our products are received there."
Japan was to be considered a test run for possible entry into other Asian markets, the company said at the time.