U.S. Rice on the Menu in Japan

IP-Magnificent Seven bar scene-170602
Hey pardner, tried the chicken and rice?
Jun 02, 2017
TOKYO, JAPAN – Earlier this week, USA Rice conducted a one-on-one taste-testing presentation for Cowboy Kazoku (Cowboy Family) of Royal Holdings Company, one of the major foodservice companies operating family restaurants and fast food chains in Japan.  

After tasting 10 menu items prepared using U.S. medium grain rice, Royal Holdings was persuaded to use U.S. medium grain at Cowboy Family, their family style restaurant where staff members wear bandanas and cowboy hats, and the restaurant is staged to make customers feel as if they were invited to a party at a rancher’s home.  

“We first made contact with Royal Holdings at FABEX in April where USA Rice hosted a preview taste-testing session for them,” said Jim Guinn, director of USA Rice Asia Promotion Programs.  “The Cowboy Family chain has 36 restaurants and, as a major buyer of U.S. products including rice and beef is a close partner of the Agricultural Trade Office in the U.S. Embassy here.”

During June, another Japanese foodservice chain called Origin Dining, a “fast, casual” restaurant, will be offering a Thai chicken and rice dish, “Khao Man Kai,” prepared with U.S. Calrose rice.  According to a recent press release, Origin Dining said they chose to use Calrose because it is better suited for this type of dish.

“Interest continues to grow in both foodservice and retail sectors in Japan for U.S. rice due to a number of factors, including versatility and price,” said Guinn.  “It seems Japan’s domestic rice policy which incentivizes production of super premium table rice and rice for livestock feed is pushing the country’s foodservice industry to look to imports for their needs.”