The U.S. Grains Council’s ongoing efforts to promote value-added food applications in Japan gained significant Japanese media attention in July when a Japanese cable TV station featured a downtown Tokyo noodle shop that uses 10 percent corn flour in its soba noodles.
The ten-minute program showcasing the cold tomato-flavored noodle menu aired on four consecutive weekends, reaching approximately 180,000 Tokyo households. The corn noodle menu was developed in collaboration with the Council and Japanese corn millers. It builds on the Council’s May taste tests that rolled out the corn noodle and follow-up efforts to distribute the noodle formula and recipes to 270 ramen shops in Tokyo.
Japanese manufacturers turn out 600,000 metric tons of noodles annually.
The Council’s Japan office also saw progress in sorghum promotion, as sorghum cookies with almond chips and maple syrup hit the shelves of an organic vegetable market in Tokyo’s fashionable Omotesando shopping district.
The shop’s customers are primarily health- and diet-conscious young women, according to the shop manager, who said the delicate cookies go out of stock very quickly.