How You Can Sell Commodity Food Items as Successful Brands in Japan

Bananas are sold as a commodity in most parts of the world. How is it possible to differentiate this seemingly simple, standard product to sell more of it?

Dole and Seven Premium are two successful brands selling bananas in Japan, and Tanabe Noen is a Japanese brand also sold by Lawson or ANA. Here is how these three brands use localised packaging techniques to sell their products in Japan.

#1 – Use a transparent bag

Bananas are usually sold without any packaging, but putting bananas in a bag can be more hygienic and also creates a surface to communicate with your consumers. One of the most common requirements for food packaging in Japan is that you can see what’s inside. If the bag is transparent, you can check the quality of the content, and there will be no surprises after opening it. More visibility means more trust.

#2 – Add expert-level information

What is the best way to choose which bananas to buy? If you’re not an expert, it can be difficult to know the differences between products. Providing some guidance to your consumers can give them confidence and make their choice easier.

  • Dole advises that the gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) in their product can be attractive to those who want to control their blood pressure.
  • Seven-Eleven Japan claims that a longer growing period improves the taste of their bananas, and the quality of their bananas is enhanced through their temperature-controlled supply chain.
  • Tanabe Noen highlights the company’s commitment to environmental protection. They also use photos of their business managers’ faces on their packaging to build trust with Japanese consumers. (Read about using face photos to build consumer trust here.)
#3 – Share instructions on how to use the product

When do bananas taste the best? How can you make them last longer? You get lots of advice from your friends and family, but wouldn’t you be interested in what the producer has to say?

  • Dole added information on how the fruits should be ideally stored in a warm temperature environment and a cold one.
  • Seven-Eleven Japan added a note that suggests the best time to eat the fruit is when small brown spots appear on the skin.

Wherever you are in the world, the above principles can be applied to improve food product packaging and make consumers happier.

If you found this article helpful, you may also be interested in the articles below on food packaging in Japan.

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