Fruit foray: Japan’s Calbee continues healthy NPD drive with trial sales of dried fruit snack

By Guan Yu Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Calbee trials sales of dried fruit snack in Japan to test consumer interest ©Calbee
Calbee trials sales of dried fruit snack in Japan to test consumer interest ©Calbee

Related tags: Japan, Calbee, dried fruit snacks

Japanese snack manufacturer Calbee is conducting a sales trial for a dried apple snack to test consumer interest in the country as it continues to explore healthier new product development.

Popular for its potato chips, shrimp crackers, cereals and pea snacks, the company is now selling the dried fruit snack on Calbee’s online as well as retail stores nationwide.

Satoshi Yoshida, public relations manager at Calbee, told FoodNavigator-Asia​ the company was surveying whether the dried apple products are well accepted in the market.

According to him, dried fruit snacks are still relatively new in Japan, and the company hopes to attract consumers who want a healthier snack option. Each bag of dried red apples (10g) contains 42kcal.

This is the second trial sales for Calbee. The first was done in December 2020, which launched two dried apple SKUs (red and green apple), and was only sold in the Aomori prefecture, where the apples are grown.

This time, the trial sales was expanded nationwide to test wider interest.

From the first sales trial, Yoshida said, “They were sold well with positive response from customers​,” although he declined to share sales performance.

Fruit snacks

Yoshida said this initiative by Calbee is part of its mid-term business plan (2020 to 2024), where the company is exploring new food areas by developing original processing technologies and using natural raw materials.

The dried apple snack was made using Calbee’s new processing technology named neo-dry manufacturing. The non-fried method gives the product a crispy texture.

No other ingredients are believed to be added, retaining the sweet and sour taste profile of domestic Fuji apples.

Even though the apples are not fried in oil, they are sprayed with an appropriate amount of oil to give texture.

Other business

Other healthier snacks by Calbee include its granola brand (Frugra) which has SKUs with added protein, vitamins and minerals.

Recently, the firm also launched products under the Miino brand, comprising of snacks made with fava beans or broad beans.

For its potato chips business (Jagarico brand), Calbee is currently on an ongoing co-creation project to collect ideas from the public on flavour, packaging design, and marketing caption. The selected ideas will be commercialised in 2022.

Calbee is also intensifying its goal of procuring 100% certified palm oil​ by 2030. The company uses palm oil as a cooking oil for frying and procures about 40,000 tons annually. As part of this goal, it started purchasing RSPO-certified palm oil through the mass balance system for its domestic factories in July 2021.

The mass balance system is a certification model in which certified palm oil is mixed with non-certified palm oil in the supply chain. Although certified palm oil physically contains non-certified palm oil, the volume of certified palm oil supplied by certified plantations is guaranteed.

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