Edamame: Taste and Wellness

November 07, 2014

Guest columnists Giovanni Esposito & Antonello Vilardi talk about Edamame in Italy.

Originally published by Retail Watch.

The harvest of soybeans occurs when the pod is in the "grass" and the interior are green and sweet beans, as are the peas. They are mainly consumed in Japan and China, as a snack, a vegetable dish or in soups.

The Japanese combine them with sakè and use them to make sweets.

In Japan and China, the pods are lightly boiled in salted water, and then the seeds are squeezed directly from the pods into the mouth with the fingers or added to the preparations already shelled. 

At a time when innovations are not recognized on the goods, in Italy, OROGEL (members of the cooperative are all producers) frozen foods, fresh jams, 179 million euros in total turnover, comes on the market with two new Edamame soy products (single and exclusive importer of grain to Italy): a bag of shelled and a pod, both microwaveable. 

The soy, but in particular Edamame, ride the trend of wellness and health consciousness (products with no additives with special nutrients), with the taste. 

Enrico Finzi of ASTRARICERCHE says: “These are items that will last for a long time. Health, as an element of preference in the purchase and consumption of food, is the item that has recently passed the pleasure and taste.

These two new products also meet veganism extended (non-ideological) for the capacity that has the “edamame” in replacing meat without detracting from the protein. 

Also the edamame has in addition iron, vitamins, and isoflavones (important for women in menopause and hormonal imbalances). 

Both pod and shelled soybeans, Edamame crosses the trend of easy to prepare and saving time in the kitchen. 

The only flaw: it is almost blasphemy for a company, especially in frozen foods not being able to sell them fresh, branded, taking advantage of the seasonal themes and avoiding (at least during the season) that the linear setting out the frozen is unpleasant and depersonalized. 

The price of 2.40 is still compelling. 

Perhaps with a few tenths less and with good promotions, with some tasting activities, Orogel may point to the “break-even point of total costs” (production and marketing) within two or three years.