Case studies


Market Entry Strategy via Retail and Food Service Outlets

A popular nationwide holiday food brand from the US wanted to assess the viability of bringing its products to the Japanese market in terms of taste and mouthfeel, as well as willingness to purchase as year-end and mid-summer gifts


  • Secondary research and industry interviews with retailers and food service operators to identify possible ‘white spaces’ in an already highly competitive market
  • Qualitative research to understand consumer needs and assess product potential in Japan prior to market entry
  • Focus groups incorporating ‘Brand DCode’ to pinpoint feasibility appraisal/ appraisal of ‘ways in’, including taste-testing


Strong confirmation that:
-A physical presence would be necessary in order to create trust and credibility; client launched first shop 1 year following study
-Further testing would be required as regards adaptation of size and format in accordance with Japanese preferences
-Food service operators (hotels, restaurants, etc.) were a viable sales channel: client successfully leveraged this channel in Year 1

"Our market entry efforts were laser-focused and much more cost-effective because of all that we learned from the research. Thank you, CarterJMRN team!"

- Client voice
All Food & Beverage

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