Intensive Promotion Efforts Help Bring 40 New Food Sorghum Products To Market In Japan


Utilizing Market Access Program (MAP) funding, the U.S. Grains Council conducted an intensive promotion of the use of white food-grade sorghum as a gluten-free food ingredient for the Japanese market.

Japanese consumers are increasingly focused on healthy alternative food products, and the Council has responded to this market opportunity by promoting U.S. white sorghum. The health food market in Japan demands a premium price and offers an additional, value-added market for U.S. sorghum producers.

The Council efforts promoting white food-grade sorghum have targeted both restaurants and consumers. White sorghum products were displayed and sampled by the industry at various food shows and showcasing events including those organized by the Agricultural Trade Office of USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service. The Council also approached prestigious hotels and restaurants whose guests will increasingly be asking for gluten-free foods to introduce white sorghum.

Based on the Council’s food sorghum promotion programs, four hotels (Intercontinental Hotel Tokyo Bay, Tokyo Marriott Hotel, Rihga Royal Osaka Hotel, ANA Hotel Sapporo) used white sorghum in their restaurants in 2016.

As a result of the promotional activities, more than 40 products using sorghum were on the Japanese food market, which totaled 600 MT of white sorghum grain and flour valued at $600,000. The Council invested $75,000 of MAP funds into this market promotion effort in 2016, with a return on investment of (ROI) of $8 per $1 of MAP invested.