Ocado and Booths sushi firm: “Hopefully our business will begin to resemble something of its previous size”

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But Tanpopo also saw increased demand from retail.

For 25 years, the sushi maker and supplier has been making and supplying Japanese food to catering companies, supermarkets, hotels, stadia and event organisers across the UK.

Based in Feltham, England, Tanpopo also supplies to Ocado and launched three new lines to the major online retailer in April. Booths also sells Tanpopo sushi in 28 of its stores in the north of England.

Tanpopo commercial director Andy Woods told SalmonBusiness that in line with much of the rest of the food industry, it saw a “complete disappearance of parts of our business, particularly events and food-service” during the lockdown.

“That said, we also saw increased demand from our retail customers, particularly those based online, and some convenience too,” he said.

Tanpopo was established in 1996 and over the past two decades the interest in Japanese food has grown massively, the company said.

“We are slowly starting to see enquiries return, and hopefully our business will begin to resemble something of its previous size, however, we must see if customers are returning to work in meaningful numbers and are confident to venture out of the house more regularly to create purchasing opportunities,” said Woods.

Last week, SalmonBusiness reported that the Spanish has seen a 50 per-cent growth in teh consumption of Japanese snack over three years.

Do you expect similar in the UK, especially now pandemic habits have increased demand?

“In terms of eating habits, I think customers will still be reaching for their old favourites in the chiller and will still be enticed to try good innovative options. The only difference will be whether that chiller is in a city centre, a suburb, or their own fridge at home,” said Woods.