Marketing Apples in Japan
First, it is important to recognize that Japan, like the US, is not a single market. Just as the people have regional preferences for apples in the US, Japanese consumers are not all of one mind when it comes to apples. The best recent example of marketing philosophies in Japan, as described in the US press, is the case of 7-11 stores. Although not as sophisticated, the Japanese apple industry also attempts to market in a discriminating manner. Since there are several different markets for apples in Japan, focusing on the price and quality of product being offered for sale in upscale markets in Tokyo can yield a very false impression. It would be in the Washington industry's best interests to work closely with Japanese buyers on this issue, to overcome the bias against waxed fruit. Grade standards are employed in Japan, but it was difficult to obtain much information on grades.