By Richard Smith on 9/29/2011
TOKYO — The Inageya grocery store chain will resume U.S. beef sales Oct. 10 on a trial basis, a company official told Meatingplace.
An as-yet-undetermined number of Inageya’s 127 outlets will sell chuck rib, chuck eye roll and strip loin for yakiniku (Korean-style barbecued beef), company meat department general manager Tokio Iso said.
Amount of volumes to be purchased have also not been decided yet, Iso said. “We will see how well sales go so we can determine how we will proceed in handling U.S. beef in the future,” he said.
Since a December 2003 ban on U.S. beef because of BSE, Inageya has not handled the meat despite its import resumption in August 2006. The only beef imports the chain presently offers are from Canada and Australia.
Based in Tokyo Prefecture, the company also has outlets in the neighboring prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama.
U.S. Meat Export Federation Japan’s senior director for trade projects and trade services told Meatingplace his office will support the promotion with special stickers for meat trays and materials for shelf decoration.
“We are delighted to see the resumption of sales of U.S. beef products by a leading regional chain that used to be an active user of our products,” Susumu Harada said.