Provision of high added-value products
Structural reforms in ready-to-eat items
FamilyMart is striving to improve product quality by promoting the structural reforms of ready-to-eat items in response to diverse customers' needs. Since strong consumer demand for ready-toeat items greatly affects differentiation from other competing convenience store chains, including responses to freshness and food trends, advanced product designs are needed.
Therefore, in fiscal year 2014, FamilyMart began a structural reform of its ready-to-eat items operations that involved a fundamental review of all processes from product planning, development and production to sales. It built a structure for continuous delivery of ready-to-eat items that are attractive and have value. Based on these structural reforms, the entire supply chain was reviewed, from ingredients procurement to facilities for production processes and product quality management, and integrated plants handling multiple products were converted to plants specific to a set temperature zone. Since fiscal year 2016, producers of ready-to-eat items have invested in differentiated food preparation facilities and are working to create attractive, high-value products along with improving product quality.
Development of products / services that improve health and welfare
With the aging of the population and greater health awareness in today's society, FamilyMart is providing various products and services in response to the needs of consumers. We have launched “diet management products” under the supervision of registered dietitians at the Kobe City Medical Center General Hospital. These products can be easily purchased at convenience stores and are better for physical health and gentler on the body, as they take into consideration calories, salt content, foodstuff items and nutritional balance.
Moreover, we are selling tasty low-carb products, such as salads, desserts and instant noodles, co-developed with RIZAP GROUP, Inc., an operator of personal training gyms. In addition to supporting consumer health promotion, FamilyMart will enter the fitness business from February 2018. We are starting up 24-hour “Fit&Go” fitness gyms at our stores in response to rising health awareness.
Products and Services that Support a Healthy Lifestyle
With the aging of the population, increasing numbers of people are expected to require special consideration with regards to their food--for instance, having to watch their intake of sodium, protein, and sugar--in addition to a growing number of home care patients. In response, FamilyMart has developed medical foods, which are food products aimed towards those with special dietary needs, like those with diabetes or kidney disease. These products have been sold in stores inside of and near hospitals since 2015. We are also a supporting member of the Japan Dietetic Association and the Tokyo Dietetic Association, and have been certified by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries as to the use of the new "Smile Care" label to be used for identifying foods for home-care patients. We currently offer about 240 different types of medical foods in 61 stores. In fiscal year 2017, we expect to expand this number to 200 stores.
Nutrition Care Station: A First for a Convenience Store
With the help of the Japan Dietetic Association, we have offered Nutrition Care Stations in some of our FamilyMart stores since October 2016. These are stations that allow customers to consult a nutritionist as a natural part of their everyday life, and are community-based versions of the nutritional care that the Japan Dietetic Association provides on a general basis. Registered dietitians provide free consultations on nutrition, as well as paid consultations that are more finely tuned to each customer's lifestyle. These stations will gradually be set up in FamilyMart stores throughout Japan.
Food- and Health-Related Events at UNY Stores
We consider our UNY Apita stores to be a sort of plaza where the public can learn about healthy living, and we support the health of our customers by hosting events where they can learn food- and health-related information and participate in workshops. Customers can get ideas for balanced meals, try making breakfast through recipes, have a dietician evaluate how balanced their diet is, measure their body fat, base metabolism, and estimated vascular age, and learn how to walk in the proper way.
UNY Official Website: A Website for Information on Food
The UNY official website is home to an informational website called "Tabemonogatari Ikoto Tsushin," which offers recipes as well as information on seasonal foods and the basics of cooking, under the theme, "Delicious & Healthy." The "Karada ni Ikoto Recipes" posted on the website make use of seasonal ingredients and are written by dieticians with a special consideration for health.
Recipient of the “6th Smart Life Project Award (Let's extend healthy life expectancy!)” from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare
Under the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare's “Smart Life Project” to improve people's living habits and movement to extend a healthy life span, the “extend a healthy lifespan” award is given out each year. In November 2017 UNY's “Call for low-salt at supermarket stores ‒ a low-salt campaign in cooperation with many companies starting from the product development stage” was awarded the Ministry's excellence award in the “Lifestyle disease prevention field” corporate segment. On the “Salt-reduction day” (17th of each month), we introduce low-salt cooking and low-salt foods in the culinary tips section of our stores. This kind of educational activity in support of improved diets is highly regarded.
Famiyoko Shopping Street
Fast food delicatessen dishes sold near the register have started to be consolidated at the “Famiyoko Shopping Street,” a development that is underway at all stores in Japan. The concept is an in-store “shopping street” full of vitality that customers of all ages can freely use and that can respond to demand for easy to eat. Due to changes in the social structure and lifestyles such as the declining birthrate and aging population, the increase in single-person households and double-income households and the increase in working women, customer demand expectations for fast food delicatessen dishes are growing. In response to the individual needs of these customers, FamilyMart is providing high-value added delicatessen products that serve as life infrastructure in small retail zones.
Currently, the size of the ready-to-eat items market exceeds 9 trillion yen, with regular delicatessen dishes said to account for 3 trillion yen. Within this market, recent fast food sales grew 128.5% compared with the previous year. FamilyMart will in the future as well aim to develop “Fun & Fresh” products that offer substantial enjoyment and freshness through structural reforms in ready-to-eat items, in response to customer demand and provide the own values.
Famiyoko Shopping Street mainstay products
Yakitori (Grilled Chicken Skewers)
About six months after being launched, sales topped 100 million for this musthave food item. FamilyMart's yakitori leverages the know-how of the yakitori that was extremely popular at Circle K and Sunkus while adding superior improvements focused on “meat texture,” “the fl avor of the sauce” and “salt flavor.” The deliciousness and texture that recreated "Yakitori made by specialty stores of yakitori," in addition to large size of volume, therefore we are received favorable reputations from many customers.
“Mother's Kitchen” provides delicious delicatessen dishes like mothers made, in order to respond to customer desires for “hassle-free cooking” and “only the necessary quantities wanted.” The “Mother's Kitchen” is a line-up of a rich assortment of foods for all kinds of occasions that support the family dinner table, such as single-serving top-seal products that meet demand for instant side dishes at dinner and next-day box-lunch side dishes and stand-pack products that can be stocked up for weekend menus.
“Mother's Kitchen” research developer comments
Pursuing a new approach to taste while also creating products that are environmentally friendly
Development at “Mother's Kitchen” involves meetings with producers of ready-to-eat items to purse better taste and also to focus on “long-lasting deliciousness” based on methods that do not involve additives and canning. The result after various trial and error tests was the introduction of gas exchange packaging technology. Use of this technology that is expanding, especially in environmentally advanced countries in Europe. In introducing this, we also performed our own technology development, such as adopting a new film that blocks outside oxygen while also making content visible.
Consequently, we completed environmentally friendly products that are delicious and have longlasting product quality. In the future as well we want to help reduce the environmental impact based on “deliciousness the same as mother's homemade cooking.”
Environmentally friendly products
UNY created original environmentally friendly products named “eco!on” that are based on the concept of contributing to a sustainable social structure by changing our daily life to an environmentally sensitive life style with respect to conservation of energy and resources and the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) in daily life.
The goal of providing “eco!on” products is to lessen impacts on the environment at every step of the supply chain from producers (Ingredients, manufacturing, container packaging) to sellers (selling), consumers (product users) and recyclers (after use).
One representative “eco!on” product is toilet paper made from recycled used milk packs. This product is manufactured from recycled milk packs that consumers deposit into recycling boxes at our stores. UNY's thinking, which helps with product development, is: “When shopping, choose products in regard to price and design but also with respect to care for the environment, which is part of an environmentally sensitive lifestyle.” “eco!on” products are not only environmentally friendly products but they are also product that should be cultivated by people all along the value chain, from consumers and to producers and recyclers. While spreading and also increasing values related to supporting forestry preservation and biodiversity via shopping, UNY is proceeding to develop products that contribute to the resolution of social problems.
Environmentally friendly products are products that lessen impacts on the environment in the “value chain,” which runs from producers to sellers, consumers, recyclers and others with regard to ingredients, production, container packaging, sales, usage and after use.
UNY's environmentally friendly eco!on products are developed and sold as safe and reliable products that minimize environmental impacts. The buying of these products promotes a sustainable social structure in support of a healthy consumer's comfortable eco life to both producers and consumers.
- Environmentally friendly-type products developed together with consumers
- Meet product quality standards stipulated by UNY
- Meet environmentally production conditions stipulated by UNY
- Examination by “eco!on development Project” and evaluation by a third-party inspection committee
Eco-Friendly "We Love Green" Products
FamilyMart offers products by eco-friendly private brand "We Love Green," which we developed in 1999 with the wish that every single human being on the Earth would come to love nature, and protect the environment. These products all have the "We Love Green" mark, which indicates that they have passed various development standards related to the materials used, reduction of environmental load for use/disposal, etc. This makes them instantly recognizable to customers as eco-friendly products.
We also pay off part of the greenhouse gasses emitted in the manufacturing process with carbon offset, thus helping prevent global warming.