U.S. Food Barley Promotion Program Yields Sales In Japan

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Using Market Access Program (MAP) funds, the U.S. Grains Council has been promoting high beta-glucan barley as an alternative grain for the health conscious consumer in Japan. Barley promotion in Japan over the past 10 years has led to steadily increasing imports, increased consumer awareness and contracted sales in the most recent marketing year.

The Council has used a variety of activities in this effort, including educational seminars on health benefits of barley and reverse trade missions by the Japanese barley industry.

In September 2016, a Council-organized team of Japanese barley industry leaders traveled to barley-producing states including Idaho, North Dakota and Washington.

As a result of this mission, one producer, Hakubaku, a major food barley miller and barley food products manufacturer, has tested and identified new high beta-glucan barley varieties from the United States and is currently negotiating with U.S. producers to contract the new variety procurement in the coming years.

The Council expects around 20,000 metric tons of beta-glucan barley, valued at $8 million to be contracted from the U.S. in 2017, compared with 8,400 metric tons in 201 – a doubling of U.S. exports to this key market.

In 2016, the Council invested $60,000 of MAP funds in its marketing efforts in Japan, generating potential sales of $8 million through contracted food barley sales. The return on investment (ROI) on this program is $133 per $1 of MAP funds invested.