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Nippon Department Store | Observing the craft cola boom

日本百貨店 | クラフトコーラブームを見守る
This time, with the theme of "Japanese Monozukuri" and "Sugure Mono", we will introduce Tokyo Station, Yokohama Akarenga Warehouse, etc.
We visited Nihonbashi Sohonten of "Nippon Department Store", which has 8 stores mainly in the city center. 
We asked Mr. Higurashi, a buyer at a Japanese department store that has been handling Tomo Cola under the original label "Tokyo Craft Cola" since June 2019, about their commitment to product selection and the popularity of craft cola.



(Tomo Cola) What do the products handled by Japanese department stores have in common?

(Buyer, Mr. Higurashi) The concept is "manufacturing", so the base is something that you can feel a firm commitment to, plus newness, fun, and excitement. I want you to meet things that you can't meet in other stores. For this reason, many of the products discovered in Japanese department stores become available nationwide within a few years .

(Tomo cola) Mr. Higurashi and other buyers have a very high level of passion and discernment. It's been more than two years since you started offering cola, but what is the reason why you continue to offer our products while there are many popular products?

(Buyer, Ms. Higurashi) Two years ago , when we started placing the product , customers would ask , "What is this?" People were looking for it and came to buy it, but now they buy it like it's a normal craft cola. The taste is delicious, so there are many repeat customers.


(Tomo cola) The fact that craft cola and tomo cola are gaining recognition is something that Japanese department stores have been selling for many years. I'm happy. You have multiple stores, but does the purpose of purchase change depending on the location?

(Buyer, Mr. Higurashi) Well, I think Tokyo Station and Nihonbashi Station, for example, have a lot of souvenirs. At the Machida store, middle-aged people purchased for their homes.


(Tomo cola) I see. I want to be a presence that is appreciated both in the souvenir scene and in the everyday scene, so it's a learning experience. What kind of conversations will you create with your customers through cola?

(Buyer Mr. Higurashi) People who don't know craft cola are often surprised and interested when I tell them that it's a cola undiluted syrup . From there, we talk about the craft cola boom, and since we have several types of craft cola, we explain the difference in taste from other craft cola . At a later date, we receive feedback from customers about the difference in taste , and we also receive feedback on how to drink it in this way and how to use it in this kind of dish .

(Tomo cola) Hya~! We don't have a physical store, so I'm really happy that such communication is born between customers through the Japanese department store...! What kind of impression do the staff have of cola?


(Mr. Higurashi, Buyer) I feel like "a fashionable, pop, urban drink" or "a slightly luxurious and body-friendly cola mixed with soda is close to the current "home time" and lifestyle." I'm saying It also has a long shelf life, making it a great gift item. The mellow sweetness of millet sugar and the spice that comes later has a mysterious charm that makes you want to drink it regularly .

(Tomo cola ) has been evaluated from various angles, and I feel the love of Japanese department stores for Tomo cola, and thankfully it has taken root within your company... (tears) I will continue to coke in the future. If you have a request for "I want it to be more like this!", please tell me frankly...!


( Buyer, Mr. Higurashi ) The Omiya store has a food and drink corner, so it would be nice if we could have something like a cola stand after the coronavirus calms down. Also a tasting party . I think it would be more fun if there were variations in taste. In the future, we are supporting the "wood barrel craftsman revival project", so it might be interesting to be able to age cola in wooden barrels .

(Tomo cola) The concept of wooden barrels is novel...I want to try it! And certainly, offering Tomo cola at tasting events and stands is an important opportunity to actually interact with customers, so I would like to try it. Please let me join you in the future.

Thank you very much.


<Store information> Store name: Nippon Department Store (Nihonbashi Sohonten) / Address: Coredo Muromachi Terrace 1F, 3-2-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0022 / Opening hours: 10:00 to 21:00 / Regular holiday: According to the regular holiday of commercial facilities / HP: Click here 

Currently, Tokyo Craft Cola is available at all Japanese department stores . Please see the website for information on multiple stores.



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