Samoan breadfruit whets appetite in Japan, NZ


Breadfruit promotion in Japan has taken a significant step to open up the Japanese market. The Pacific Islands Trade &amp; Invest (PT&amp;I) Network’s Tokyo, Japan based Pacific Islands Centre (PIC), has collaborated with the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa (SROS), the Japanese Embassy in Samoa and the Samoan Embassy in Japan to promote Samoan breadfruit products, especially the breadfruit flour.<!--more-->

[caption id="attachment_7560" align="alignleft" width="299"]<a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-7560" src="" alt="A Samoan flag proudly proclaims the origin of this breadfruit preparation displayed at the event in Osaka, Japan. " width="299" height="297" /></a> A Samoan flag proudly proclaims the origin of this breadfruit preparation displayed at the event in Osaka, Japan.[/caption]

Earlier this month, at an event in Osaka titled “Power of South Seas; bread bazaar in the forest of life”, a variety of

[caption id="attachment_7561" align="alignright" width="150"]<a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-7561" src="" alt="Another breadfruit goodie at the show." width="150" height="200" /></a> Another breadfruit goodie at the show.[/caption]

original sweets made from Samoan breadfruit flour was demonstrated and tasted by visitors. These included breadfruit muffin, breadfruit macaroon, breadfruit cookie and breadfruit karinto.

“These new sweets were developed and demonstrated by professional pastry chef and university students. We carefully observed the visitors’ response,” Reiko Takada, PIC’s Promotions Coordinator told <em>Pacific Periscope</em>.

“One of the challenges for promotion of breadfruit flour in Japan is ‘how we use it?’. The variety of the sweet products presented at the event would provide many hints to respond to this challenge and appeal to the market,” Ms. Takada said.

The event was organised by Thera Projects, an industry-university cooperation organisation in Osaka. Thera Projects Chairman and honorary professor of Osaka University, Dr. Akio Kobayashi, introduced breadfruit to the visitors, and explained what breadfruit is and its high nutritive value.

“Because breadfruit is new in Japanese society, there was great curiosity in Prof. Kobayashi’s presentation,” Ms. Takada said. A local TV station covered this event on its news programme and it is estimated that about 1.1 million people around Osaka area watched it.

Since late 2014, PIC has worked closely with SROS and Natural Foods International to prioritise the introduction of the range of products made from breadfruit in the Japanese market. “Several stakeholders in both public and private sectors have worked together to promote this initiative,” Ms. Takada added.

Ms Takada said Professor Kobayashi had expressed interest in assisting imports of breadfruit products to Osaka. “We still have a lot of challenges such as price, stable supply system, quality control and so on, but all stakeholders are positive and doing their best,” Ms. Takada said.

Joe Fuavao, PT&amp;I NZ Trade Development Manager based in Auckland says, “Breadfruit has mainly been exported to New Zealand with the Pacific Island communities as the target market. However with the new product development initiatives Pacific exporters have been able to tap into niche market opportunities such as the growing demand for gluten free products.”

PT&amp;I NZ’s Auckland office is working with SROS and PHAMA (Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access) to examine the market potential for a new product from Samoa, frozen breadfruit French fries. Through its networks, PT&amp;I is obtaining market feedback that would help examine the commercial viability of this new product.

With Pacific breadfruit finding its way to new consumers it is important to promote how it can be used. Earlier this year, Robert Oliver created Crab Callalloo Soup that was served with Breadfruit Breadsticks using breadfruit flour from Samoa. This was promoted at the PT&amp;I IACT Pacific Trade Mission to New Zealand networking event.

With the successful market entry of breadfruit flour there is a growing interest in other breadfruit products. PT&amp;I NZ is working with a producer of gourmet breadfruit jams to test the market and connect with potential buyers, Mr Fuavao told Pacific Periscope.

For more information please email Reiko Takada PIC Promotions Coordinator in Tokyo <a href=""></a> or PT&amp;I NZ Trade Development Manager Joe Fuavao at <a href=""></a>

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