Hōjicha Targets North American & Asian Markets

A favourite among Japanese tea drinkers, “hōjicha,” a roasted green tea, is setting its sights on the North American and Asian markets.

“We are excited to finally unveil the Hōjicha Co brand,” says Danielle Geva, co-founder of Hōjicha Co, the first brand to specialize in hōjicha. “There is an opportunity for a broader audience to discover and enjoy the benefits of hōjicha, and we are looking forward to introduce our roasted green tea products to the world.”

Hōjicha has taken the Japanese food industry by storm with over 90 product launches in the last year, including food products from popular brands such as Haagen-Dazs and Starbucks. According to market research firm Intage Inc, hōjicha’s share of the sugar-free tea products in Japan has already reached 3.5%, and sales have been increasing steadily year over year.

“The hōjicha boom in Japan may quickly spread internationally and could overtake matcha in the near future,” says Mitsue Konishi, senior innovation analyst of consumer at GlobalData.

The idea to bring hōjicha to North America was sparked during the founders’ recent trip to Japan, when they were offered hōjicha at a small teahouse in the Shinsaibashi district of Osaka. They had never encountered a green tea with such a pleasant aroma before and were eager to share the beverage with friends and family.

Hōjicha tea originated in Kyoto in the 1920s when a tea merchant tried to make the most of leftover tea leaves, stems, stalks, and twigs by roasting them over charcoal. Shortly after hōjicha was invented, tea shops across Japan began roasting green tea as their customers were enchanted by its deep smoky aroma and round flavour.

Roasted green tea offers many of the health benefits of traditional Japanese green tea while containing virtually no caffeine or bitterness. The recent popularity of hōjicha may have been driven by these health benefits, some of which include: lowering blood pressure, reducing cholesterol, and relieving stress. Furthermore, hōjicha’s roasting process removes virtually all the caffeine content in green tea, preventing the jitteriness that coffee drinkers experience.

After sampling hōjicha from over a dozen tea fields around the Kyoto region, the Hōjicha Co team found two distinctive teas that cater to tea beginners and tea connoisseurs alike. The initial collection of two loose leaf tea products features Hōjicha Dark Roast, a deep, smoky and sweet roasted tea and Hōjicha Gold Roast, a high-grade green tea.

Both products are currently available online at https://hojicha.co. Hōjicha Dark Roast has a MSRP CAD $15 in Canada and USD $11.50 for the rest of the world. Hōjicha Gold Roast has a MSRP of CAD $20 in Canada and USD $15.50 for the rest of the world. Retail distribution is projected for 2019.

Hōjicha Co is already working on developing and launching additional hōjicha products in the coming months, and throughout 2019.

“Our goal is to source the most authentic, high quality hōjicha from Japan,” says co-founder Francois Mathieu. “We have a comprehensive roadmap of hōjicha-related products that we want to introduce to consumers in North America and beyond.”

Hōjicha Co is the first brand to specialize in hōjicha roasted green tea. The premium hōjicha is packaged fresh directly from the fields of Kyoto, Japan. The high-quality hōjicha is naturally decaffeinated, contains no additives, and no unnecessary blending or processing.

For further information, visit: https://hojicha.co.

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