House Food Group, A leading food company from Japan plans to release large, eight-serving packages of curry roux this fall in a bid to boost consumption. In Summer of 2019, A new production line at its plant for restaurant-use roux in Dalian, Liaoning Province will start operating. The 400 million yen ($3.68 million) addition is central to the company's goal to increase sales in China to 13 billion yen by fiscal 2023, up 2.2 times from 2018.
Based in Osaka, House Foods entered the Chinese market in 1997 via sales of curry roux to restaurants. In 2005, it expanded into the consumer market with release of its Vermont Curry, offering samples at supermarkets to familiarize Chinese with the product.
"In China, big cities are seeing an increase in heavy users [of curry roux] of a kind often seen in Japan," said Tetsuya Ishikawa, head of international business development at House Foods.
The market for both home and restaurant products has grown about 20% annually in China, according to the company. Retail prices of curry roux in the country are roughly 10% higher than in Japan.
House Foods chalks up more than 10% of its curry sales through home delivery services, such as Alibaba Group Holding's Ele.me, and online platforms, which are contributing to the growth of the curry market.