January 31, 2023
On January 23, JETRO and the Consulate-General of Japan in Toronto co-hosted "Taste of Japan," a seminar and business meeting on Japanese food products for food and beverage industry professionals and the media in Toronto, Canada. Over 130 people registered for the event, which attracted a large number of industry professionals from hotels and restaurants.
The seminar included explanations of the characteristics of Japanese wagyu beef, rice, seafood, sake, and green tea, as well as a demonstration by a local chef on how to arrange Japanese ingredients, and samples were served to invited guests. In a parallel touring business meeting, Canadian companies importing wagyu beef, rice, fishery products, sake, and green tea from Japan promoted their products to local restaurants and retailers.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Takeshi Saito, Director of JETRO Toronto Office, said, "In 2021, exports of agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and food products from Japan to Canada totaled 14.2 billion yen (149 million Canadian dollars), up about 30% from the previous year despite the pandemic. Among these, the main export products are soy sauce (soy sauce), miso (soybean paste), frozen fish, sesame oil, snack foods, green tea, and sake, etc. The export value has continued to increase in 2022, and given the recent increase in interest in Japanese food products in Canada (see article on September 22, 2022), this trend is expected to continue. Considering the recent increase in interest in Japanese food products in Canada (see article on September 22, 2022), this trend is likely to continue in the future," he explained.
Non-Japanese restaurant owners who attended the seminar commented, "I am interested in handling Japanese sake, but I have not been to Japan yet, so I am glad to be provided with this opportunity," "I was impressed by how creative we can be with ingredients from Japan," "The seminar was very interesting, and I hope to The seminar was very interesting, and I hope they will hold more seminars like this in the future.
After the event, exhibitors commented, "We are receiving an increasing number of inquiries from food and beverage related parties who have not yet signed contracts with us," and "It was wonderful to have such an educational opportunity, with non-Japanese food and beverage related parties coming to the event and also listening to the seminar with great enthusiasm.