Date of Issue: June 2021 Issue of Boulansserie  Category: Reports

Luxury Shokupan Bread Story Played in Japan

"Centre the Bakery" in Ginza, Tokyo

Shokupan specialty shop "Nogami"
Japanese people's love for luxury shokupan bread never seems to be weakened. It has been lasting for nearly 10 years. The Japanese shokupan bread is the white and soft square-shaped bread baked in a square-shaped baking mold. It is made from white flour, yeast, milk, butter, salt and sugar. Toasted shokupan with ham and eggs is the typical Japanese breakfast enjoyed all over Japan.

The luxury shokupan bread recently loved by Japanese people, however, is a little bit different from the traditional Japanese shokupan bread. First of all, the luxury shokupan bread is much higher in price, costing 500 to 1000 yen per 1 loaf, which is about 600 grams. Secondly, the ingredients are different. More butter and more milk, of higher qualities are often mixed into the dough, resulting in richer taste and softer textures.

There have been many players in the luxury shokupan bread market, who have contributed to its popularization. And the first bakery that played an important role is undoubtedly "Centre the Bakery" in Ginza, Tokyo. It started for the purpose of telling the charm of shokupan bread. Its most popular item called "Kakushokupan" (square-shaped shokupan) is 840 yen per 1 and a half loaf, weighing about 300 grams. Centre the Bakery had Japanese consumers realize that shokupan could have value worth paying that much money, and let Japanese bakers know that shokupan is what they can offer higher prices to.

Shokupan specialty shop "Nogami" also has done much to create the luxury shokupan market. Its "Nama Shokupan," which is most delicious when eaten without toasting, is made by mixing cream and water with specially blended flour before adding butter, honey, salt, sugar, milk and yeast to the dough. Many people buy it as souvenirs to their families and friends, and amid corona virus pandemic, loaves of the "Nama Shokupan" are used as gifts sent to their special people living in distant places.

Meanwhile, many companies in a broad range of fields got into the luxury shokupan bread business, and most of them enjoyed thriving business with so many people standing in a line before their shops open every day.

Soon after that, bakery creator Takuya Kishimoto began attracting more and more attention as a trendsetter and also a super powerful engine in the luxury shokupan bread business. He started as the owner of "Totszen Baker's Kitchen" located in Okurayama, Yokohama City, in his mid-20s. He started his career as a bakery producer in 2011, and up to now he produced more than 100 shokupan specialty shops throughout Japan. He frequently appears on TV, saying that he is cheering up the streets with bakeries."

His way of producing bakeries is characterized by the unique naming of the shops. He believes that the experience of buying bread in an impressive bakery increases the value of the bread itself. And that seems to be why he produces uniquely named impressive bakeries. The bread and the bakery that sells it together makes your luxury shokupan experiences far more exciting, which is sure to result in a super word of mouth marketing.

The success of the luxury shokupan bread is partly due to its high-quality ingredients, which could not be used because of the resulting high selling prices. But the luxurious atmosphere "Centre the Bakery" provided at its Ginza shop made them acceptable. The combination of the super high-quality ingredients and the super luxurious atmosphere at the shop, granted "Centre the Bakery" the strongest power ever found to create a new market called the luxury shokupan bread market.

The luxury shokupan bread story which has been played here in Japan simply tells us that good products need good marketing.