Mariko Kihira

Mariko is the owner of maru communicate. She is based in Japan. She is researching and writing technical articles about current developments in the Japanese potato industry. Her company is also actively involved with other agricultural companies and offer support as to the introduction and dissemination of innovative agricultural technologies.

Mariko can be reached at:
E-mail: [email protected]

Articles published on Potato News Today

Potatoes in baby food? Yes! says Japanese mom and blogger…

Potatoes are a staple in 88 percent of all households in Japan, Mariko writes, and are enjoyed by all demographics. However, with proper assortment and merchandising, retailers and growers could be enjoying even higher fresh potato sales. And when potatoes are in a consumers’ basket, they spend on average $77 compared to only $42 when they are not, according to Mariko. Increasing potato sales will no doubt result in increased sales across the store, she writes.
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Japanese potato growers adopting modern cultivation practices

Japan faces a declining population and there is no doubt an aging trend in the Japanese society. In the agricultural sector, this trend is quite obvious: The average age of farmers in Japan was 66.6 in 2017. Furthermore, an influx of people into cities is a big problem. Many women used to work in the potato industry as laborers. But nowadays it is becoming rather difficult to find operators to work on potato farms, according to our correspondent in Japan, Mariko Kihira.
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The potato croquette that is taking Japan by storm
“Korokke” (potato croquette) is a rather common home cooked dish in Japan. Mashed potatoes form the base ingredient of the croquet, and after minced meat and cooked or caramelized onions are added, it is formed into an oval shape, battered with flour, egg and breadcrumbs and then deep fried. One brand of the croquet that is nowadays becoming very popular in Japan, is the ‘Mishima Croquet’, made from the Mishima Breisho (Breisho translates to potato in Japanese).
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Japan: New crisp lines launched from Calbee Potato’s own potato variety
Calbee Inc. has launched a new crisp line from a potato variety bred and cultivated by contracted farmers of Calbee Potato Inc. (a company that distributes potatoes, provides agronomy advice to its contracted growers, and also trades and processes some of its potatoes as crisps). Independently from Calbee Inc., it bred its own variety ‘Poroshiri’ for crisp processing for more than 10 years.
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