Miso Balls as Personalized Food
If everyone could make their own delicious homemade miso without fail, what kind of possibilities would arise?
Through repeated discussions at both Marukome and Panasonic, I started to realize that miso is not only good for your health, but there are diverse ways of enjoying it, which adds to its appeal. Various ingredients can be incorporated into miso soup and they can also be adjusted to help treat a range of physical ailments.
I noticed signs of a movement in Japan toward putting miso at the core of daily eating habits once again. This includes the basic style of Japanese home cooking featuring miso soup and a bowl of rice. Then, the concept of using miso to help regulate the body gradually began to take shape.
Miso Balls and Healthy Lifestyles
I then began exploring the various ways that miso can be enjoyed. I met Tomoko Fujimoto while searching for a supervisor of recipes that could be provided to promote miso as part of a healthy lifestyle.
The starting point for the current Miso Ball project came from its concept being promoted by Miso Girl, Tomoko Fujimoto. The Miso Ball prototype was made both fancy and convenient through her cooperation. The ball of miso idea originated in the Sengoku Period (1467 - 1568) with a portable preserved food called miso-dama, and it has now been revived using contemporary style.
For our service, we decided to offer delivery of food kits that allow customers to enjoy making their own miso balls. They include live yeasts without preservatives or additives that come in cute and convenient packaging that is easy to understand. This allows customers to drink miso soup made from Miso Balls that have been prepared to suit the person's own physical condition or mood. This kind of new consumption style will surely enhance the enjoyment of miso.
Combining Miso and IoT: The Project Offers New Possibilities
The new service kit represents a completely different direction from the products that Marukome has offered so far. Marukome expects a new personalized miso culture to emerge based on specially selected ingredients, which will breathe new life into the miso industry.
In an era when customer needs have become diversified, we want to promote a joint service provided by two companies for customers seeking luxuries that take time to create and who want to engage in personalized food preparation. It is a different kind of value from a time-saving service. We want to realize a service that fosters diversity by allowing people to take time to create and connect.
Our discussions led me to realize that when this service is launched, we can simultaneously create 1,000 miso storehouses. Participants will also be able to communicate with new friends and enjoy talking about seasonal ingredients while enriching their minds.
We will make not just miso, but providing the new enjoyable way to eat miso by proposing Miso Balls with seasonal ingredients. We are excited about this service that will create new relationships and connections among various people. By promoting a service that can benefit the world by providing a place for people to make, eat, and connect, we hope to create a delicious food culture that appeals to both the body and heart.
Taking on the Challenge of Promoting Miso Culture Globally
"Please make it available as soon as possible!" "I absolutely want it," and "Miso community is fantastic!" ... These are just some of the comments received from visitors to our booth at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival held from March 10 to 13, 2018. The event of Panasonic House @SXSW2018 welcomed 4,308 visitors during that time. Ferment 2.0 was a very popular part of our exhibit. I first thought the Miso Bot function that enables users to talk with miso would be popular, but then I was surprised at how interesting the Miso Friends feature was paid much attention, as it allowed people to find other miso enthusiasts on the map. Although it was just the concept proposal stage, I could feel an extremely strong response, and I had a strong desire to further expand this project.
- Pure Organic: Live yeast with no preservatives or additives
- Personalize with you: Ways to enjoy miso based on personal health condition and mood
- Creative Connection: Direct connections with customers, and clubs where miso-makers can interact
"It is the ultimate in personalization while also being a public activity. My miso is not suitable for everyone, it is designed for me, but I am still connected to everyone else." We wanted to create a service kit that offers a balance between two needs that appear to be contradictory at first. In addition to food safety and security, we are offering a connection to traditional Japanese culture by providing miso enjoyment methods tailored to personal health and mood. We will create new value for the future through a community that links homemade with smart technologies.
The value of miso lies in its ability to bring back memories and experiences. It can take you back to childhood memories of sipping grandma's miso soup, and can elicit tears of joy. I will work with my team so that everyone can receive service kits that provide the full possibilities of miso, a product we really believe in.
Introducing Miso to the USA
The number of Japanese restaurants outside Japan is increasing every year, and has already reached about 118,000*. Accordingly, a growing number of non-Japanese have tried miso soup at sushi bars and other places. For miso soup in this project, we will offer combinations that are easy to pick up at supermarkets, including those with basic tofu, green onion, and spinach, etc. In addition, Marukome has expanded the number of recipes on its website, so that home cooks can also use miso for meat and fish marinades, and in vegetable stir fries.