Founded in Osaka in 1918, Zojirushi Corp. looked to the American market when its bread-makers did not perform as expected by Japanese consumers. Recognizing that Asians preferred rice over bread for their daily meals, the kitchen appliance maker set up its U.S. headquarters in Southern California in 1987.
As an initial step to penetrate the huge U.S. market, Zojirushi partnered with such distributors and retailers as Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Crate and Barrel before further stepping up efforts to reach more customers by venturing into e-commerce. Its careful research and hard work paid off.
For Zojirushi America Corp. President Tatsu Yamasaki, the decision to take its products online was the best thing that ever happened to the company, pointing out that it consistently receives 5-star ratings on Amazon.com.
Its foray into e-commerce was also especially beneficial during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Like everyone, I had to make difficult personal sacrifices during the pandemic. But our sales went up because many people stopped going out and realized that it was more satisfying to cook at home and easier to purchase our products online. We are grateful that more customers discovered Zojirushi products online,” Yamasaki said.