Kangaroo meat is selling like hotcakes in Japanese convenience stores.
Sales of protein-related products are skyrocketing against a backdrop of growing fascination for weight training.
All protein-related products grew 40% year on year at Natural Lawson convenience stores from fiscal 2018 to fiscal 2019.
And September 2019 sales increased 70% YoY, with kangaroo meat being a prime driver at the chain’s 143 stores in the Tokyo metropolitan area.
Tokyo-based Vasel Inc. sells kangaroo meat under the RooMeat and Paroo brands throughout Japan, including the roo jerky selling strongly at convenience stores.
“Kangaroo meat is the pinnacle of red meats. Its saturated fats are 20 times better for you than beef and kangaroo meat is really popular among women with a strong awareness of beauty,” a Vasel spokesman recently told the Japanese media.
Vasel’s targets are those seeking an athlete’s diet of high-protein, low calorie foods, and women with a strong awareness of beauty and maintaining a healthy weight.
Kangaroo meat is not produced by keeping roos as livestock, but by capturing wild kangaroos and processing the meat. Vasel has imported kangaroo meat into Japan from Australia since the 1980s. Demand has grown significantly in recent years and it now imports 50 tons annually.
“There’s growing interest in red meat. Game is becoming increasingly popular within the dining industry. Women and athletes who are concerned with their health are eating kangaroo. We have focused on branding the meat as RooMeat since 2014, and the robust sales we’re seeing now are probably reflecting that,” the Vasel spokesman said.