When customers canceled orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Japanese orange growers “cattily” re-packaged their famous mandarin orange juice to ensure it won't go to waste.
Wakayama prefecture, located in south-central Japan, is the country's leading grower of oranges and has been a center of citrus fruit cultivation for over 400 years. Their famous Arida Oranges are renowned for their refreshingly tart taste, rich flavor and delicious sweetness. These oranges and their squeezed juice is a premium offering at many of Japan's finer restaurants, hotels and resorts.
With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, however, the hospitality sector was forced to severely cut back on their purchases of Wakayama oranges and orange juice. This created a huge problem for the orange growers. What to do?
Since simply not harvesting oranges – or even worse, dumping the fruit before it rots – are “unpalatable” options, the orange growers' association decided instead to try and find a different distribution partner. That turned out to be Nakata Chicken Store in Gobo City, Wakayama, and their Chicken Nakata online gourmet shop.
The partners quickly concluded that concentrating on juice as opposed to perishable fresh oranges would work best, and involving a charitable organization would add extra appeal to the new product to be named “Nyan Juice”. Nyan refers to cats (Japanese cats go “nyaa” instead of “meow”), and the cat-centric partner is Neko Republic, a chain of cat cafes dedicated to saving and serving Japan's homeless cats.
Which brings us to Nyan Juice itself. As can be seen in these images, the 100% Arida Orange juice is being sold in cutely cat-embossed 180ml bottles packed 10 bottles per case. The original marketing campaign featured a miniature “kitty kotatsu” but after receiving requests from juice-lovers who didn't own cats, Chicken Nakata now offers the juice on its own.
Cats do benefit, by the way, even if they can't use the mini-kotatsu or drink the orange juice: 2% of juice sales will be donated to Neko Republic to support their ongoing cat-protection activities. Back orders are being accepted now and shipments are to begin in April of 2021. For more information and to place orders, please visit the product page at the Chicken Nakata website. (via PR Times)