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culture in japan?

sandra1960

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hi my name is sandra. i am in college here in the U.S. and i am to do a paper on cultural concerns when selling popcorn to Japan. May I ask what tastes Japanese people have when eating popcorn. Do you like caramel, cheese, and buttered popcorn? will your microwaves pop popcorn now? i read that at one time microwavable popcorn would not work due to the low voltage. any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks.
sandra:)
 

Kama

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Do you like caramel, cheese, and buttered popcorn? will your microwaves pop popcorn now?

not a Japanese, but I want to say something. here I go:

so there is something except for "natural" popcorn with salt? o_O didn't try them, but I won't probably ever try them. they don't sound delicious :p
 

Goldiegirl

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At Tokyo Disney, you could get chocolate popcorn and honey popcorn. It wasn't coated like chocolate or honey was poured on it, rather it was popped with the flavor. It's great! Also at the one movie theatre I went to they had curry popcorn. :)
 

masaegu

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May I ask what tastes Japanese people have when eating popcorn. Do you like caramel, cheese, and buttered popcorn? will your microwaves pop popcorn now? i read that at one time microwavable popcorn would not work due to the low voltage. sandra:)

I personally like all kinds of flavors in popcorn, but I don't think that most other Japanese have even heard of flavored popcorn other than regular salt. I think, however, that there is a chance that caramel or cheese-flavored popcorn might gain some popularity here. We love eating caramel to start with, and we eat lots of cheese-flavored snacks these days as well.

If American companies wanted to sell flavored popcorn here, they would have to study the market more closely than they have in the past with other foods like chocolates. Snickers doesn't seem to be doing well here, and I don't even see M & M's here anymore despite heavy advertising on TV. I seriously doubt that those giant corporations with all the money and marketing techniques have actually taken the Japanese market seriously. I say this because a lot of Japanese around me complain that those American candies are way too sweet fro them. If something tastes too sweet for you, you will NOT buy it in this health- and fitness-conscious age.

Finally, regarding the rumour voltage being low here, forget it. Don't kid yourself! This is Japan, the home of the electronics! I make microwave popcorn (regular salt) at home all the time. Supermarkets and convenient stores here do carry micro-wave popcorn even though it doesn't look as if it were being given too much shelf space.
 

Mars Man

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Like I am a popcorn eater, you know. . . I grew up with it, have it coming out my ears. . .hey, I even have bad dreams about popcorn theives coming to steal the popcorn we have growing down in the garden !! hee, hee,hee....

This thread did pop up in the wrong place, so I have moved it here.

Welcome to JREF sandra1960 san !! I would say that popcorn also, is not that big a thing here--although you can get it almost everywhere.

What masaegu san has said is pretty much right on. THE most common item you'll find in this area of Japan, is Mike's (I think that's the basic product name) shoyu/butter flavored popcorn in the bag. (that's soy sauce and butter flavored) Seven Eleven has it's own, plain salt popcorn--a much larger bag, for just 100 yen...and it's pretty good.

At the uni we recently had a lemon scented popcorn which was. . . well. . . unique? It's hard to say what will sell and will not sell. there are so many factors here, and I do agree that outside marketers coming in would do better to investigate the market more. (Now here in Nagano, we have snickers all over the place, and M&Ms are common enough--Dr. Pepper is hard to find, and Root Beer is even harder. Tomtoms (Australia) are becoming popular.)

BUT...when it come to popcorn, we grow our own, and cook it in the pan with light oil, then salt it only. THAT, by all means, types, sizes, and or colors, is the way to go. . . in my home-grown opinion. MM
 

Paul Houghty

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I don't think it's a very good idea for you to come to Japan to sell popcorn, Sandra. For a start, Japan is a different country from America. The tradition of eating junkfood such as popcorn is not established well here. Running a business will require a special visa (do you have a visa, Sandra?), and an inability to speak Japanese will inhibit your ability to understand their orders, not to mention scaring your customers away. Japanese are very shy. I suggest you finish your studies in America and try selling popcorn after that.
 

Mike Cash

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The tradition of eating junkfood such as popcorn is not established well here.

Right. The stores throughout Japan are well-stocked with aisles and aisles of it to cater to the foreign trade.

Japanese are very shy.

I can't narrow my choice of snappy remarks to that one down sufficiently to choose one.
 

Paul Houghty

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Do you always welcome new posters, albeit ones with vast experience in Japan, with such aggressiveness? I'm quite at a loss how to respond here. The typical Japanese family eats fresh, ie not junk food, three times a day. The "aisles and aisles" you refer to must be a figment of your imagination. No supermarket I've been in has this. You must be thinking of supermarkets back home. There may be a proportionately larger shelf space dedicated to junk food, however this can be explained by long shelf life and marketing policy.

What Japanese Wife doesn't go shopping at least twice a day for the freshest ingredients to feed to her family? And if you are suggesting Japanese are not shy, then I propose you leave the house once in a while and meet some of them. Try asking the question "Would you gladly buy popcorn from an obese illiterate American trying to shove sugar laden junkfood down your throat?" and see what the response is.
 

Mike Cash

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Forgive my ignorance. I was unaware of your vast experience in Japan when I made my post. Perhaps you will help myself and others to interact with you with the proper due deference by outlining for us your vast experience.

I'll try to go out and meet some real Japanese people sometime; that is good advice and an area in which I have been remiss.

Was the "obese illiterate American" comment meant to refer to the OP? Or was it just a gratuitous jab at Americans in general?
 

bakaKanadajin

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I think the OP's intentions in asking her questions are to gain some brief insights into the logistical and knee-jerk-reaction type cultural differences between Japan and the West that would necessitate adaptation on the part of commercial retailers were they in theory to attempt selling popcorn in Japan. It sounds to me like either a business/marketing theory or possibly sociology type paper. Using the feedback she receives she'll probably be required to interpret her results through specific models and structures introduced in her class, which are a mandatory requirement in completing the paper.

So. With that in mind, here's my 2 cents.

- Yes, voltage is different in Japan. My personal experience with microwaves is that they're a little weaker than the ones in my friends homes here in Canada. I do not think the difference is huge when you're talking about heating up leftovers, but for the purpose of creating a perfectly timed product like 'set it and forget it' popcorn, wider research into the power usage/out put specs on Japanese microwaves and their power grid might be a good idea. In general though, the differences are not huge and I do believe I've seen microwave popcorn in Japan already. Something else worth looking into would be whether there's a compatible form of popcorn preparation that jives with gas stoves; natural gas is more common there than electric ovens by far.

- As far as tastes go the Japanese are fans of wacky taste inventions. Sweet/salty snacks, snacks that use odd flavours like red beans, green tea, fusion foods, etc., along with traditional snacks that probably wouldn't be too popular here due to their uniqueness (dried squid, wasabi-covered peas, tomato sticks, etc); these are commonplace and unique cuisine innovations are in my opinion a fan favourite. In general I'd wager the Japanese are more adventurous when it comes to food and there wouldn't be many pre-existing flavours that wouldn't sell over there. New innovations would probably be better accepted there than here in the West, where the simple idea of combining some things wouldn't make it out of the corporate brain storming room into the lab.

- The Japanese are fans of convenience, but also fans of authenticity and quality. Introducing 'old style', traditional, air-popped popcorn or even health-conscious popcorn with no salt or additives might go over better there than here in the West. Introducing a certain amount of 'exclusivity' into the mix would help more than hurt in my personal opinion. Finding a mode of delivery that fits with Japanese culture (gas stoves, rice cookers, etc) would be worth investigating.
 

w1ngzer0

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At Tokyo Disney, you could get chocolate popcorn and honey popcorn. It wasn't coated like chocolate or honey was poured on it, rather it was popped with the flavor. It's great! Also at the one movie theatre I went to they had curry popcorn. :)

curry popcorn? thats interesting. :)
 

bakaKanadajin

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curry popcorn? thats interesting. :)
mmmm I forgot about that stuff.. it's actually pretty good. You can get it at alot of places actually, I remember seeing it at Kanagawa's abandoned but still functional theme park 'Yomiyurilando' and also at a few local festivals here and there.
smiling.gif
 
D

dark_secrester

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Paul, 7 out of your 8 posts, on your joining day, seem to be full criticism of the topic. The other one had a minor criticism.

It seems to be in your nature to criticise.
Whilst I sometimes enjoy to criticise someone, did you know that it is dangerous and doesn't gain you friends. In fact, it loses them. If you don't agree with something, please just don't post.

Please, in the Chit Chat section, post your own topic with each of the things you believe we should not post about, so we can all add to the end of our posts a message saying 'Paul, please could you not write on this topic you inexperienced little pig'.

I hope I am not in sway of the forum's rules here... But someone needs to teach this man (although it is probably some 15 year old obnoxious kid) some manners.

Also, Paul, you said 'My Japanese Wife' in one topic. This is ungrammatical, as 'wife' is a noun that does not take a capital letter unless at the beginning of a sentence, which it rarely is. Please correct your own faults and then criticise us.
 

Mike Cash

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Also, Paul, you said 'My Japanese Wife' in one topic.

In eight posts I counted three mentions of "Japanese Wife" and two references to "vast experience".

EDIT:

That should have been one "vast experience" and one "long tenure".
 
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Paul Houghty

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Good evening all, Paul here. I'd like to take the chance to clear a few things up. I've received a "friendly warning" from one of the moderators regarding my post above, and in rereading it I can see how it could have been misinterpreted to contain offensive language. Please consider this an apology to the original poster as well as a peace offering to the regulars. It seems we might have got off on the wrong foot yesterday, I would like to use my long experience (didn't say "vast"!) in Japan to help out the newbies or those thinking of coming to these isles. In the interests of a friendly atmosphere I'll refrain from responding to the provocative comments above this post and pretend they aren't there.
Thankyou.
 

Mike Cash

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Does that mean you're not going to outline your vast (see post #9 above) experience for us so we can know how deferential to be?

What happened to the post with THE 10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE COMING TO JAPAN from yesterday? It seems to have disappeared.
 

Glummers

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WOW! Mike, i think you are being very hostile.

I will admit, Pauls post yesterday really got my back up! Gosh. I was quite upset that he would think he had been in Japan longer and knew more than the rest of us. I am sure most you have University jobs too, he is not the only one.
I recieved a PM asking me to remove my negative comments about Paul, and now i am feel good that i did.
I went outside and played with my dog, after he came back from his japanese vet, and thought to myself "Glummers, you did good"
Even my wife, she is japanese too paul just like yours, she said "Wow, you look good!"
So Mike, i am imploring you to remove your negative comments, or at least reword them into a more positive manner, for the good of the forum.

Thank you,
Glummers.
 

Paul Houghty

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Good evening Mike! I would be more than happy to outline my vast experience, as you so correctly refer to it as. However, in light of the current atmosphere on the boards I think I'll limit myself to giving out some pithy advice to the younger posters who may be in need of a guiding hand.

Yes, I was wondering too about my asrticle. Perhaps the Admins are considering it for inclusion in the site proper?
 

Mike Cash

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So Mike, i am imploring you to remove your negative comments, or at least reword them into a more positive manner, for the good of the forum.

Thank you,

Glummers.

If I didn't smell a king-sized rat regarding the forum join date of certain posters, I would at least be inclined to take your post seriously, even though there is zero chance I would do as you ask even without suspicions aroused by the sudden appearance of a gang of chain-yankers.
 

Glummers

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If I didn't smell a king-sized rat regarding the forum join date of certain posters, I would at least be inclined to take your post seriously, even though there is zero chance I would do as you ask even without suspicions aroused by the sudden appearance of a gang of chain-yankers.

Are you refering to that North American TV show "crank Yankers?"
Other than that i dont understand your post.
Sorry.
 

WSIENGLISH

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If you don't agree with something, please just don't post.

What sort of discussion is that? Should we get out bullhorns and cheerleading outfits when we log in here? People are, in my experience, likely to disagree. It is not the end of the world unless somebody supplies a lot of nuclear weapons, right?

If I didn't smell a king-sized rat regarding the forum join date of certain posters, I would at least be inclined to take your post seriously, even though there is zero chance I would do as you ask even without suspicions aroused by the sudden appearance of a gang of chain-yankers.

I thought people who joined were "junior members" not "posters" according the friendly email I got. It is nice to be treated as a human. A poster can hang on a wall. It is most unpleasant to be called a "poster" when much better options are available in English.
 
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Davey

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Once again... I think this is my third post of the evening because of the same members/posters/ junior members...

Please go back to the topic, and do not launch personal attacks on the forum. If you have a problem with someone, then report it and ignore the person do not make it worse by posting off topic in another persons thread... Next off topic post will be deleted.
 
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