The Cambodian market will be going forward further this year- Mr. Nobuo Shioiri

S.E.A.T.S expands the business scale mainly in the area of the food importing while S.E.A.T.S has subsequent position in the distribution industry. S.E.A.T.S has started the business newly as “LOKA Food&Beverage”, and started branding for the food importing which goes well. We asked Mr. Nobuo Shioiri about the turning point, and the present state and the vision related to food distribution industry.
(Interviewed at: April, 2018)

Interviewee Profile

Mr. Nobuo Shioiri: Sales representative and Marketing director of LOKA Food&Beverage.

The Russian market area has been popular

-Please introduce yourself and your company

 My name is Shioiri of LOKA Food & Beverage. I am Sales representative and Marketing director. We have started the food importing business as Japanese trading company S.E.A.T.S Inc.since 2014. This year means 5th term.
 As business, we distribute our products for the restaurant, the hotel, the café, the super market in Cambodia including local area, and we mainly get a stock from Asia such as Japan, Thailand, Vietnam.
 We mainly treat not only perishable food, meat, seasoning, liquor which are expensive relatively, but also everything which the customer requires. That is not limited to the foods, but we treat the container and the kitchenware. We have ever had a deal with around 300 companies in Cambodia, and the number of the customers from France and Khmer has been increased. Our products aren’t limited to Japanese foods.

-Please tell us your strength

 That is the stable supply system and adequate line up related to frozen, cold storage seafood products. We have the stocking network including more than 500 companies in Japan, and it’s possible to stock during 24 hours anytime in Tsukiji, Japan. We have the greatest strength that the fresh fishes which we got by the auction hold in Tsukiji and the stocked products which we got from all Japan have been air-transported stably via direct flight twice a week.
 In addition, although the cold chain establishing is delayed in Cambodia to be compared with the surrounding countries, however, our store can distribute the products as soon as the products are imported in Cambodia. To add that, we can import the frozen products while below temperature zone -20°is maintained.

-Why did you move the office last day?

 It is because the space got narrower while our business scale has been expanded. Our business needs not only the working space for the staff, but also the specific space for the fridge set up, for the parking by the delivery truck, and for the inventory storage. To consider the daily distribution and the convenience at customer visited, we moved the office to the Russian market which the number of the restaurants and the apartments and people have been increased for a few years.

-What is your company’s vision?

 We are going to provide the price and the quality which the other competitor can’t follow especially in the frozen, cold sea food products. Now that we sell our products mainly through the sales channel for the restaurants targeting local rich people, but we are going to enforce the sales channel for the local retail at the same time. Because we would like to catch consumption demanding in the middle class which the number has been increased every year. So, we are going to dig, plan, and develop the products to match for local demanding in Cambodia while communicating directly with the producer in the surrounding countries such as Thailand and Vietnam. We have already visited some factories and discussed regularly. To add that, we sometimes sell the trial products in the market. As a result, some products are sold well beyond our expectation. We would like to be a leader in the industry in the field of the frozen, cold seafood in Cambodia.

The number of the local customer has been increased little by little

-It seems that the number of Japanese restaurants developed has been increased. Please tell us the kinds and the trend

 The number of the Japanese restaurants which are opened newly has been increased since the latter half of last year to this year. I think that the number of the individual owners who run bar, and the number of the restaurants which treat sashimi of the seafood mainly have been increased, to be compared with the number of the major chain store which is famous in Japan.
 In addition, according to some Japanese restaurant owners, the number of the local customer has been increased little by little for a half year.
We expect that this trend will be continued, and the market related to Japanese food will be expanded.

-Please tell us the alcohol culture and the current alcohol trend in Cambodia

 Generally speaking, people in Cambodia still tend to prefer beer in domestic production and whiskey and wine made in foreign countries.
Related to Japanese sake, Japanese whiskey and plum wine are popular relatively among people in Cambodia, but it is still limited as a market.

-What do you think about the wholesale industry in Cambodia, especially about the price?

 It is very convenient for us to use the direct flight between Japan and Cambodia and the time zone service. However, because some airline companies don’t provide the flight routes and they don’t compete each other like other countries, the air flight fare is more expensive than the air flight fare in Thailand and Singapore. In addition, because the local side has much burden to be imported, the price is rising. We ensure “Quantity” while the restaurant’s requests are collected as much as possible, and we try to decrease the transportation cost relatively every day. Because our clients regard this as the benefit, we can receive the order from our clients.

Please give the message to the readers

 Including AEON No.02 and some stores which were opened to follow AEON No.02, I think that Cambodian market is going to be larger this year.
 It is true that the starting timing for the business depends on the business type and business category, but it is possible to start business in store in Cambodia as long as we have small capital in Cambodia. This is the significant merits. We recommend to clarify your purpose at first and to see the local to be based on the saying“Seeing is believing.”.
 In addition, we have prepared the contact address also in Japan (Tokyo, Osaka) in April 2018. Our staffs who know about Cambodia well will support you in Cambodia and Japan. Please feel free to contact us.