Case Study: How the 2024 Japanese Food & Beverage Showcase Expects to Net $6 Million in Deals

For the second year in a row, the Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO) together with the Japan Taste Marketing Inc. (JTM Inc) presented the Japanese Food & Beverage Showcase at the 2024 Bar & Restaurant Expo.

The 2024 edition of the Japanese Food & Beverage Showcase was bigger, with 60 unique suppliers versus the previous year’s 50. The Showcase included beer, spirits, sake, shochu, restaurant products, and an increased number of exhibitors showcasing the highest quality Japanese seafood.

We caught up with Kota Kimura, director of JETRO Los Angeles, to find out why JETRO chooses to exhibit at the Bar & Restaurant Expo and the success the Showcase has experienced.

Who is the Japanese External Trade Organization?

The Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a Japanese government agency that supports Japan's overseas expansion. JETRO Los Angeles was founded in 1958 and is responsible for research and export promotion support for Japanese companies.

Why did JETRO participate in the 2024 Bar & Restaurant Expo?

JETRO’s goal has always been to promote exports and establish new business channels for Japanese food and beverage products. This year, the organization specifically focused on Japanese marine products, like Japanese scallops, which were one of the more popular items at the Expo.

“The popularity of Japanese food in the U.S. has been growing remarkably, and marine products have been attracting a lot of attention,” says Kimura. “In this occasion, we intended to promote our marine products further in the U.S. market.”

JETRO was specifically interested in the audience the Bar & Restaurant Expo attracts. “This expo is a promising event that attracts many hotel bar/restaurant professionals and many from the West Coast, East Coast, and Midwest of the United States,” says Kimura. “We thought it would be a great opportunity to promote Japanese products including marine products, wagyu, and sake to participants who had never tasted or heard of them before.”


japanese food and beverage pavilion
JETRO aimed to promote Japanese food and beverage products to markets in the United States.

What was different about this year’s Japanese Food & Beverage Showcase?

In 2024, the Japanese Food & Beverage Showcase not only expanded its presence with the addition of 10 new booths, but it also highlighted its seafood offerings in F&B Innovation Center Demos within the Restaurant Zone.

Chef Drew Hoerl presented a smoked scallop and tuna crudo demo at the expo, which also included samples for attendees. The demo made use of Japanese scallops and yellowtail tuna and informed attendees of ways to incorporate authentic Japanese flavors into versatile menu items.

“Our participation in the Food & Beverage Innovation Center and the special cocktail event was a success,” says Kimura. “We took advantage of various opportunities to promote Japanese food products widely, not only at our booth.”

japanese sea scallops
Japanese scallops were one of the more popular offerings at the Expo.


How successful was the 2024 Bar & Restaurant Expo for the Japanese Food & Beverage Showcase?

This year’s Bar & Restaurant Expo welcomed a record 12,378 attendees, an 8% increase compared to 2023. For those attendees, the Japanese Food & Beverage Showcase was a highlight of the show.

“Japanese companies, which promote Japanese food products, together have received many inquiries from restaurants and bars,” says Kimura. “The Japanese pavilion with 60 companies has a likely deal of more than $6 million in total.”


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