USA Rice, in its series of one-on-one promotional activities, conducted a 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. Mr. Jim Guinn, Director of USA Rice Asia Promotion Programs revealed that after tasting 10 menu items prepared using U.S. medium grain rice, Royal Holdings was persuaded to use it 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,” he said. The Cowboy Family chain has 36 restaurants and, as a major buyer of U.S. products including rice is a close partner of the Agricultural Trade Office in the U.S. Embassy here, he divulged.
Origin Dining, another Japanese foodservice chain will be offering a Thai chicken and rice dish, “Khao Man Kai,” prepared with U.S. Calrose rice during June this year. “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,” revealed Guinn.