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Japan’s Supermarket Trade Show is back and bigger than ever

24 April 2024

Following a ‘soft’ return in 2023 post COVID-19, Japan’s Supermarket Trade Show (SMTS) came back in full swing this year as exhibitors and attendees revelled at the opportunity to once again be a part of Japan’s largest B2B trade show. 

Attendees from across the globe came together for the three-day event held during February in its traditional Makuhari Messe home in Tokyo, Japan.

This year, Makuhari Messe held approximately 75,858 trade show visitors, which was a 16% increase on 2023 attendance.

There were approximately 3,515 exhibitors hailing from 17 different countries also in attendance, providing a wide range of displays for visitors to explore.

MLA’s presence at SMTS  

MLA was pleased to partner with nine Australian red meat exhibitors while also serving up some delicious samples under the watchful eye of one of our original Lambassadors Mr Koji Fukuda and his team.

MLA had a considerable 180m2 presence at SMTS, populated by nine individual Australian export businesses, a fully operational meat preparation and grilling station as well as meeting areas and with coffee and refreshments. Three different types of Aussie Beef thick cut steak (rump cap, striploin and rump centre) were prepared from the MLA stand, of which over 2,000 sample plates were handed out. 

Guests were invited to scan the QR code on their plate and then share their feedback on the tenderness, juiciness and flavour of the three different types of beef. Almost 1,200 people responded to the survey and the samples enabled the MLA team to engage with the audience, who answered questions and shared insights on the different types of beef and how each could be used within the context of Japanese food culture.

Exporters took the opportunity to highlight the quality and diversity of Aussie beef and lamb, sharing and sampling products across a variety of cuts, origins and feeding regimes. Feedback from exporters was consistent in that there had been a great deal of interest in MLA’s stand and their businesses.

This is reflective of the improving optimism around Japan’s food service and retail sectors as the post-COVID recovery continues and inbound tourism returns at record levels. With much interest around the current Australian and US beef supply dynamics, there was a consensus that old partnerships were strengthened and new opportunities had been presented.

Other activities

Outside of SMTS, MLA took the opportunity to conduct its ninth Annual Grand Seminar at the Hotel New Otani in Makuhari. The networking and dinner event saw around 350 key Japan meat trade professionals attend alongside Australian exporters, Aussie Beef Mates and MLA staff.

The event provided the opportunity for MLA to update the Japanese industry on upcoming MLA marketing activities, industry trends and insights, and highly anticipated projections data for upcoming Australian beef and lamb supply.