From furniture to steak houses, trains to lettuce – category-busting Japanese style | WARC | The Feed
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From furniture to steak houses, trains to lettuce – category-busting Japanese style
Japan’s Nitori furniture chain plans to bring its cost-slashing business model to the restaurant category with the launch of a chain of low-cost steak houses; meanwhile, Japan rail operator JR East is planning to launch itself into the hi-tech indoor farming business.
Why it matters
These are just two of the latest examples of product-category busting. And Nitori isn’t stopping at restaurants: Nitori Holdings plans to bring greater control to its supply chain by also getting into ranching in order to supply its low-cost eateries.
- To cut costs, Nitori will house its restaurants in some 450 of its furniture stores around the country, each fitted out with Nitori furniture and tableware.
- JR East, which runs trains in the Tokyo area, has already established indoor farms within its Kinokuniya supermarket subsidiary and now plans on expanding the process to shops inside its stations, where vegetables will be grown at optimum efficiency, based on thousands of data points around humidity, heat, light and fertilizer, all controlled remotely by AI.
- The process, developed by Germany company Infarm, in which JR East is an investor, claims two square metres of space can yield the equivalent of 250 square metres of traditional farmland and use 95% less water.
The global agtech market was worth around $9 billion last year, according to the UK analysts Juniper Research, and it is forecast to grow to $22.5 billion in 2025. The market for vertical farms, along with other indoor farming methods, is expected to grow to $6.7 billion from $2.7 billion in 2020.
Sourced from Nikkei Asia, Juniper Research
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