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David @ Tokyo

Perspective from Japan on whaling and whale meat, a spot of gourmet news, and monthly updates of whale meat stockpile statistics



Geishoku Labo's whale meat sales approach

Geishoku Labo LLC's homepage has a page explaining their sales approach. Here's my translation:

Background of sales promotion of Whale meat in the "office cafeteria and hospital food catering market"

- With the persmission of the Government of Japan, the scale of the Antarctic whaling research which commenced last year expanded to double the size of previous research. Because of this, the production of whale meat will also increase.

- Due to the fear that conducting PR activity to sell the increase in existing markets "may unnecesarily over-stimulate the market, and may result in increases in market prices", the "catering market including office cafeteria, hospital and lunch services" was identified as a controllable preferential market.

- Inspite of the increase production is limited, and the approximate 2000 tonne increase is certainly not large when compared with the size of the scale of the nationwide restaurant market.

- In order to provide this limited supply at stable prices, with the support of the Fisheries Agency and Institute of Cetacean Research "Geishoku Labo LLC" was created as a direct distribution company.

The difference to existing sales channels

- The existing whale meat sales channels are through specialist producers and nationwide central wholesale markets, and those operators decide their retail prices, and their respective sales volumes and prices fluctuate.

- In contrast, the new sales company is in a position to be able to fix annual retail prices and sales volumes in advance.

- Furthermore, we resolved that due to the price and flavour, by proposing new methods of utilising whale meat as an ingredient instead of existing preparation methods, there would likely be interest.

- As for raw ingredients, we have arrangements to make possible supply in a processed form (small size / mince).

Can I really use this in my menu?

- Because there is not enough supply to be able to use whale meat as an everyday staple ingredient, please think about using it for menu diversification and special meals.

- For example, by mixing whale meat as an ingredient along with other types of meat (eg. chicken 70%, 20% whale breast, 10% blubber), nutrional balance can be improved as well as realising a unique texture. Of course the average meal cost can also be suppressed.

- Whale blubber contains large amounts of EPA and DHA, which is said to be beneficial for the health.

- Whale meat is an ingredient with various possibilities in preparation techniques, from use as sashimi like fish, to use like with other meats. From the familiar childhood taste of whale, to use as an easily edible health food, whale meat offers plenty of scope for menu developments.

Geishoku Labo was established this year with an apparent goal of selling up to 1000 tonnes of whale meat annually.

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