Developing 30 brands including Kora Honten (crab cuisine) and Akakara (hot pot dish).
Founded: December 1969, Established: April 1974.
Close to "AKAKARA" tasting with secret soup blended Nagoya miso and red peppers. Mr. Suzuki vice president of KORA CO.,LTD. told us about “Akakara nabe (hot pot dish) from Canada where he stayed for buying crabs.
Also, we should keep an eye on the activities of Japan International Food business Association (JIFA), which has a wonderful slogan "Japan is a team"!
Akakara brand works actively on the international stage
The company was founded 45 years ago and now the annual sales 15 billion yen (group sales 30 billion yen). Operating total 337 restaurants (directly operating 126 outlets, 211 franchise outlets). Developing 30 brands including Kora Honten (crab cuisine) and Akakara (hot pot dish).
“Akakara” is the only brand expanding overseas(2 in Qingdao, Shandong Province, 1 in Taiwan and 1 in Malaysia).
In the future, it is planed to open outlets with other business types in other Asian countries as well.
Strength of Akakara
The brand that we are most focused on is “Akakara”. With structured operation, it is possible to develop multiple outlets and it is also suitable for a franchise package. With a low investment and quick investment recovery business model, we are developing the brand nationwide at about 30 outlets a year.
In terms of development, we are putting the most emphasis on product development. Especially, we are concentrating on the development of private products that everyone can produce the same taste, and making soup of “Akakara Nabe” of the main product with the same high original quality. It took a year to develop the taste that became a habit and makes customers want to eat any number of times.
The advantage of overseas expansion is that the sense of speed in everything is extremely quick. Apart from whether it is a correct judgement or not, there is little discussion on the desk, and we act immediately if we feel it is good.
High economic growth rates and the strong need for consumption is one of the reasons for aggressive expansion overseas. It is not just the purpose of expanding the units, we utilize the relationship with the companies obtained there to feed back to Japan.
For example, we are trying to send dishes, kitchen equipment, novelty, human resources from overseas to Japan. The merit of the franchisee is that the hot pot style of “Akakara” is accepted as a daily meal in Asian countries in general so that it is easy to penetrate into the local market and can stably provide food products by supplying private products.
By developing localized menus, local staff can also sufficiently become a workforce in a short period of time.
Japanese food and activities of JIFA
I strongly hope to develop Japanese brands overseas to convey the wonderfulness of Japanese food in the world. We write “to improve – people” in Japanese kanji and read it as “food”. Like this, I will be happy if we connect the food spaces full of smiles to the world. Information is very important in foreign countries where culture, customs are different from Japan. Real information in the local can be obtained quickly from the members of JIFA who are expanding in each country.
It is also a unique and powerful advantage that we can share information with each other or visit the local to get direct experiences in order to develop without mistakes by learning from the circumstances of each country including successful and failed cases.