Japan ‘Healthy Junk Food’ 2foods Operator Launches Plant-Based ‘FoodTech Park’ Retail Concept In Tokyo

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Tokyo-headquartered wellness company TWO Inc has just launched its new “healthy junk food” concept to offer Japanese consumers nutritious plant-based offerings. The brand, 2foods, will be opening three new retail outlets in the Japanese capital Tokyo to cater to the rising numbers of plant-forward, ethical and conscious consumers. 

The new “healthy junk food” brand 2foods will offer 100% plant-based versions of the most crave-worthy foods in Japan in its café concept, from desserts like mocha red bean vegan butter donuts and “super-rich” gluten-free gateau chocolate cakes made from almond milk and brown rice flour, to local fast food classics like a vegan chicken tartar donut sandwich made with a soy-based patty and chickpea bun, enabling consumers to trial a range of alternative protein creations.

Japanese-style curries, bowls known as dons, ramen and cold pressed juices are also among some of the dishes featured on 2foods’ café menu. 

Three new locations will be opened across Tokyo, with the first shop launching on Thursday (April 15) in Shibuya Loft to serve as a “food tech park” to showcase its products and the latest plant-based trends. The concept, an offshoot of the wellness and beauty company TWO Inc, is a part of the firm’s strategy to capitalise on the vegan and conscious consumerism in Japan and around the world. 

“Our 2foods café is the place [that] physically represent[s] our brand and to engage our fans physically.  On the other hand, FoodTech Park is located right next to 2foods flagship cafe in Shibuya, [and] is positioned as an experimental store where consumers meet untapped and cutting edge food tech products from all over the world,” Yoshio Yahagi, COO at TWO Inc, explained to Green Queen Media.

2foods will also have an online store, where customers can get vegan bites for takeaway or delivered to their doors. 

TWO Inc says it aims to specifically fill in the market gap when it comes to affordable healthy plant-based choices in Japan, with existing offerings still being “usually pricy”, “not satisfying or delicious” and inaccessible to mass consumers. It marks the first time the company has entered the food space, after three years of establishing itself as a leading personal care label in Japan.

“In Japan, plant-based foods [that] use vegetable[s] to substitute animal products have gained attention,” said the firm in a press statement. “In the pandemic, consumers have shown increased intentions to live a healthy life by [going] flexitarian.” 

The Japanese company also cited the growing popularity of foreign plant-based brands such as Beyond Meat, an indication of the strong demand for more options. As a domestic brand, 2foods says that it will be able to cater to the local tastes and preferences of Japanese consumers, and hopes to “expand the business globally as a Japanese global brand”. 

Bold targets have already been laid out at the time of the launch of 2foods, with the firm set on extending its retail footprint to 100 to 150 stores globally within the next three years. To that end, it has forged a partnership with OmniMeat, the Hong Kong-based plant-based pork brand, to further double down its strategy to target Asian appetites. 

“Both our café and the FoodTech Park are located right next to each other, [so] we are aiming to co-develop menus with food tech startups, [while] the food techs utilising our FoodTech Park…can do test-marketing without taking too much risk,” says Yahagi, in conversation with Green Queen Media.

OmniMeat entered the Japanese retail market last month, launching at eight supermarket outlets as well as via foodservice in a number of restaurants. Among some of the shops that the vegan-friendly pork analogue can be found include Vegan Store, the first plant-based convenience store or kombini to ever land in Japan amid the country’s fast-growing meat-free trend, which has seen the likes of Ippudo, Muji and Mos Burger all roll out new plant-based offerings in recent months.  


Lead image courtesy of SmileVeg via Instagram.


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