June 12, 2018
Fontana, Wisconsin- "Shoyu" soy sauce is becoming increasingly common in U.S. households.
The United States is a leading market for Japan's shoyu exports that have been growing on the back of a worldwide Japanese cuisine boom.
A Mariano's supermarket in a suburb of Chicago sells various kinds of shoyu bottles, including organic and low-salt variations. A bottle of about 300 milliliters sells for between 2 dollars and 3 dollars.
Shoyu's global expansion gained momentum after "washoku" traditional Japanese cuisine was added to UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list in 2013.
Japan's shoyu exports reached a record high of 33,564 kiloliters last year, almost double the figure of 17,337 kiloliters in 2012.
Exports to the United States totaled 8,350 kiloliters last year, or a quarter of the total, up about 30 pct from the previous year.
Shoyu production in the United States has also been growing.
In 1973, Japanese seasoning maker Kikkoman Corp. <2801> started shoyu production in Wisconsin. The company completed a second U.S. shoyu plant in California in 1998.
The company has taken measures to promote its shoyu in the United States, including selling meat flavored with shoyu at supermarkets and posting recipes in newspapers.
Some 60 pct of U.S. households now keep regular shoyu stocks at home, the company said.
Soy sauce "brings various flavors from foods," said Jacob Flores, a Wisconsin resident who said he uses soy sauce with steak and other foods.
Speaking to a press conference in Wisconsin on Wednesday, Kikkoman President and Chief Executive Officer Noriaki Horikiri said the company aims to develop shoyu demand among Hispanic people, who consume less soy sauce, to expand sales in the United States. Jiji Press
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