TOKYO, Oct. 27 – A growing number of agricultural producing areas in Japan are introducing new products and promotional twists unique to Halloween to make the best use of the shopping season around the annual event celebrated each year on October 31. Flower growers, for example, proposed the use of flowers in pumpkin orange and other matching colors while persimmon producers asked consumers to post original recipes for persimmon dishes, all in order to stimulate the demands. Some grocery stores sold new Halloween-themed fruits and vegetables to capture the attention of shoppers.
“How about orange, yellow and dark red gerbera daisies for your Halloween decoration?” An agricultural cooperative in Shizuoka Prefecture, JA Hainan, sold boxed “Halloween Mix” gerbera flowers in five Halloween colors to flower shops to make it easier for the shop owners to sell bouquets in Halloween colors.
The flowers are shipped in original boxes with pumpkin and ghost characters to appeal that they are unique products for the annual shopping season. One “Halloween Mix” flower box contains 30 large gerberas or 50 small ones. A person involved in the flower market said having flowers in different colors of the season, each in a small quantity, was very convenient for the florists. Moreover, the flowers were priced higher, each by almost 10 yen, when compared to those sold in regular seasons, according to JA.
JA Megumino, an agricultural cooperative in Gifu Prefecture, is now introducing a new type of red pumpkin called Benikuri, which is good not only for ornamental purposes but also for eating. They are suitable for gratin, and potage soup as the color of their edible part stays well even after it’s cooked. Currently, they are sold at JA farmers’ markets or major grocery stores in Nagoya and the surrounding areas.
JA Megumino began the trial production this year as it noticed that there are very few edible red pumpkin varieties. Jack O’ Lantern stickers are included in the shipping boxes to help store owners effectively market the products. “We want to increase the number of the Benikuri producers by 1.5 times in three years,” said a JA representative.
Since five years ago, an agricultural cooperative in Wakayama Prefecture, JA Group Wakayama, has been introducing several types of promotional activities to stimulate the sales of Japanese persimmons grown in Wakayama, which is Japan’s largest persimmon producer. This year, it launched a new promotional campaign for consumers to post photos of persimmon dishes on Instagram. There were pictures of persimmon sandwiches and persimmon curry.
A prefectural agricultural cooperative in Wakayama, JA Wakayama Kenno, said, “We’d like to spot new ideas and share how other people enjoy persimmons in dishes other than dessert plates and increase the consumption.” The JA also sold Halloween-styled persimmons as usual.