Sustainability

Using Plant-Based Ingredients to Provide Solutions for Shortages of Food Resources

Basic approach

Since shortly after its founding, the Fuji Oil Group has aimed to provide solutions to food resources shortage associated with population growth, by using plant-based ingredients., Since 1957 we have been pursuing the possibility of soy protein, under the belief that plant-based protein can compensate for the shortage of animal protein sources. There is a growing sense of crisis in society towards food shortages and environmental problems. In the past, plant-based protein ingredients were used merely as substitutes for animal protein sources. Under the slogan, “Providing the deliciousness of plant-based foods and solving social problems,” we strive to establish a new category of plant-based foods in the market, thereby contributing to solving social issues.

Objectives

Based on the Mid-Term Management Plan Help resolving food resources shortage with plant-based proteins while having a reduced burden on the environment.
In terms of Monozukuri (R&D), we aim at developing products that offer deliciousness, which is a major challenge in popularizing plant-based protein sources.
In terms of Kotozukuri (value creation and demonstration to the market), we aim at creating a system, which promotes consumers' understanding of the significance of choosing plant-based protein sources.

Progress

  • Development and sales expansion of soy meat
    We promoted the development and sales expansion of meatless hamburger, soybean karaage, and seasoned textured soy protein, through market development (promoting the development of high-value-added products)
  • Creating a market for plant-based whipping cream
    Conventional whipping cream is made from milk. The Fuji Oil Group promotes developing plant-based whipping cream. In FY 2018, we promoted the development and sales of cacao whipping cream based on cacao butter and whipping cream made from thick soymilk (soymilk cream). Also, cheese-like ingredients made from soymilk have gradually gained popularity in the Japanese market, as they have been used as ingredients for desserts such as tofu cheesecake and soy tiramisu (Tiratisu).

Specific initiatives

Popularizing soy ingredients for the health of people and the planet

Social issues and soybeans

Global population growth is forecast to lead to shortages of food (especially animal protein) and water resources. The Fuji Oil Group believes that soybeans will resolve this social issue.
Soybeans grow in a wide range of climates, from cold regions to the tropics. Large quantities of soybeans can be cultivated with less fertilizer and water, compared to animal protein sources.

Water Consumption during Production by Resource

Water Consumption during Production by Resource

Fuji Oil Group's solutions

The Fuji Oil Group aims at providing solutions to food shortages through the development and market diffusion of plant-based food products.

Example 1: Soy meat

Plant-based protein sources such as soy meat have a lower environmental burden than animal protein sources (beef, etc.), but have conventionally been considered inferior in terms of flavor. This was an issue that needed to be addressed to achieve widespread use. Leveraging our long-accumulated know-how about soy meat, we developed and have been selling soy meat that is filling and delicious, like animal protein sources.
For example, in FY 2018, by adding a discontinuous texture like ground meat, we developed a meatless hamburger that could satisfy consumers, just like beef. We will continue to propose and provide delicious plant-based protein ingredients, in order to contribute, not only to delivering the joy of food to consumers, but also to solving the issue of food shortages and with less environmental impact.

Example 2: Plant-based whipping cream

The Fuji Oil Group is promoting the development of products, focusing on the deliciousness of plant-based ingredients. For example, we developed a plant-based cacao-flavored rich whipping cream, “Cacao Whip”, by using cacao butter as oil content. Cacao Whip allows consumers to experience the rich flavor of cacao. Cacao Whip is used as ingredient for chocolate-flavored parfaits featuring plant-based ingredients. Due to its rich flavor and lower environmental burden than milk-derived whipping cream, Cacao Whip has been favorably received in the market.
Also, as a new product that uses our proprietary Ultra Soy Separation (USS) manufacturing method, we developed soymilk whipping cream containing abundant dietary fiber. This new soymilk whipping cream can be used to make pasta sauce, and others. as a substitute for fresh cream, to add a rich flavor to the food while bringing out the flavor of the other ingredients.
We aim at contributing to popularizing plant-based foods by providing delicious ingredients with low environmental impact.

Soy-meat hamburger

Business survey for the construction of a soy product value chain to improve nutrition and increase women's income in Burkina Faso

In 2018 the Fuji Oil Group commenced a business survey in Burkina Faso, West Africa, aiming at improving the nutrition of local consumers and increasing local farmers'income through the procurement of soybeans and the development, manufacture and sale of "soy meat" in Burkina Faso. This project was adopted as a 2018 Survey on Businesses to Address Developing Country Issues (SDG Business)* by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Within this framework, we surveyed soybean-producing districts and conducted research for product development.
In Burkina Faso, the income of soybean farmers is unstable, and soybeans are exported for feed, with low added value. Also, most of the population is underweight and undernourished. We will continue to carry out surveys to promote the effective use of soybeans as a precious protein source, thereby contributing to local community's wellbeing.

*The Survey on Businesses to Address Developing Country Issues (SDG Business)* by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA):
JICA provides financial assistance of up to 50 million yen per proposal, for a maximum of three years for Japanese companies planning to start a business that will contribute to the attainment of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in developing countries. The financial assistance is intended to help cover survey costs. Companies that receive financial assistance are expected to formulate a business plan.

  • Meeting with soybean farmers who also grow shea nuts
  • 大豆ミートを現地風に調理したものを試食している様子
Meeting with soybean farmers who also grow shea nuts

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