May 25, 2021

Paul Kraft: Gummy Bear President Japan

Paul Kraft: Gummy Bear President Japan
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Everything you ever wanted to know about the grocery & convenience store business in Japan with Haribo Japan President, Paul Craft.  He is an expert on Japan's packaged consumer goods market. Paul started his Japan career 13 years ago with Starbucks Japan, then launched HoneyBaked Ham (their first ever foreign expansion), and has been the country manager for Haribo Japan since 2018.  We discuss the production of a localized Haribo TV commercial with real Sumo wrestlers, inside info on distribution and sales strategies at CVS and grocery stores, his successful experiences earning "brand legitimacy", packaging localization advise and tactics, and why chewing gum has lost popularity, not just in Japan but around the world. Other topics we discuss:

  • Early days setting up the pre-packaged ready-to-drink business for Starbucks Japan
  • The "Ruthlessness" of the convenience store market - demonstrated every Tuesday
  • Modern vs. Antiquated = Convenience stores vs. Grocery stores
  • Convincing the HoneyBaked Ham family on Japan expansion
  • Gaining Japanese consumers "Stamp-of-Approval"
  • Why brand "legitimacy" is so important in Japan and two examples he used
  • Getting the Japan Sumo Association approval for the Haribo TV commercial
  • Are Japanese flavored Gummy Bears on the horizon?
  • Detailed and cultural explanation of "Ho Ren So" 
  • The importance of "precedence" in Japan
  • The Free Unsolicited Business Idea

Haribo International:
Haribo Sumo Wrestlers:
Paul Kraft:

Great Sleep Starts Here =gugu Sleep Company:
Japan Adventures via Camper Van = Dream Drive:

  • Use the code word "ZEN" to receive discounts