ATO Business Website and Smartphone Access

A Lastest News about Food , Beverages and Tobacco in Japan

Posted on: 21 Dec 2012

ATO Japan’s business website,, has been offering U.S. exporters stories and news about Japanese food trends and access to Japanese food business information.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Voluntary Public - Date: 12/5/2012 GAIN Report Number: JA2537 Japan Post: Tokyo ATO ATO Business Website and Smartphone Access Report Categories: Agricultural Trade Office Activities CSSF Activity Report Market Promotion/Competition Promotion Opportunities Approved By: Steve Shnitzler, ATO Director Prepared By: Sumio Thomas Aoki, Senior Marketing Specialist Report Highlights: ATO Japan’s business website,, promotes U.S. agriculture in Japan and is a link between U.S. and Japanese businesses. This is a review of 2012 activities and a review of its new Smartphone application for Smartphone users that are increasing Japan. General Information: Background ATO Japan’s business website,, has been offering U.S. exporters stories and news about Japanese food trends and access to Japanese food business information that would be difficult to find in the United States. highlights cooperator marketing and promotional activities. Japanese businesses receive information about U.S. food trends and tips to market U.S. agricultural products. One feature that would improve the exposure of U.S. products in Japan and provide accessible information by the Japanese was to develop and add web pages to that introduced U.S. agricultural products. Purpose Promote U.S. agriculture in Japan by linking U.S. and Japanese businesses and to develop Smartphone application for Smartphone users to expand accesses. Results PDIC, the vendor who programs and manages, developed a Smartphone program to take advantage of the growing Smartphone culture in Japan. Japan has always been well ahead of the U.S. with mobile phone technology, but smartphone adoption has lagged. Now with the growth of the iPhone and the introduction of Android based devices, smartphone users are increasing in Japan, especially in the business sector. We wanted to make sure that the site was available to this growing Smartphone population and increase total accesses to the site. The Smartphone page is shown at the end of this report. The total access numbers to is an average of 14,500/month between October 2011 and August 2012. In September 2012, the access number went up to 19,779 due to interest in an ATO initiative called Taste of America. October 2012 showed another up-tick to 24,742, which was the highest recorded access number for since its inception. This was attributed to an additional 1,000 hits from Smartphone users and an additional 4,000 who visited the site for various reasons such as Taste of America. One of’s functions is to receive U.S. product inquiries. These inquiries are then linked to the Trade Lead System. The additional feature that was reported in 2011, “Recommended American Foods” has continued to bring newcomers as well: Highlights: strives to be a resource for business by keeping companies informed of the latest news. In the past year, has featured articles on corn noodles, sorghum, press releases for U.S. soybeans, corn, Alaska seafood, Blue Diamond, six Japan Food Trend reports and several reports on wine, Florida grapefruit, new products such as Vermints (a natural breath freshener and ATO sponsored food shows such as Foodex, Supermarket Trade Show, IFIA, and the Health Ingredients show. Summary:’s function to connect U.S. exporters and Japanese importers has been achieved through the inquiry page and Trade Leads System. In all, 25 trade leads have been processed through the site. ATO has also been successful to provide the U.S. agricultural exporter community with information and trends of Japan for potential exporters. At the same time, Japanese importers have been provided U.S. product information and trends in the United States that offer them marketing ideas and access to new products. ATO spent $40,000 on in FY 2012, plus an additional one-time $10,000 enhancement for the smartphone feature. Post plans on maintaining the site but reduce yearly cost to $20,000-$25,000 per year.
Posted: 21 December 2012

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