The HoneyBaked Ham Company of Georgia announced that for the first time in the company’s 55-year history, it will expand internationally. HoneyBaked is partnering with Toranomon Ham Co. Ltd., who will hold the rights to sell Honey Baked Hams, turkeys, sides, and desserts in Japan. The premium food retailer is targeting a launch later this year to include a storefront, e-commerce, sampling, and a full marketing campaign specific to the region.
“For more than half a century, HoneyBaked has been a household name, synonymous with the quality and taste of our signature bone-in half ham and other ham products here in the United States,” says Chuck Bengochea, HoneyBaked CEO. “Paul Kraft and Nobumitsu Tamai are strong, experienced partners. With their extensive consumer knowledge and operational expertise, we are very excited to bring HoneyBaked’s premium products and family traditions to consumers in Japan.”
After patenting the first spiral-slicing machine, Harry J. Hoenselaar founded the HoneyBaked Ham Company in Detroit, Michigan, in 1957. The family owned and operated company now boasts over 400 locations across the U.S. and sells a variety of additional products including the signature Honey Baked Ham, turkey breasts, sides, and desserts. Most locations also offer catering as well as a cafe menu including fresh made sandwiches, salads, and deli sides.
“There is a great demand in the Japanese market for premium American brands and HoneyBaked fills a market niche with its unique glazed and spiral-sliced hams,” adds Paul Kraft, Toranomon Ham, president and representative director. “Our goal is to introduce HoneyBaked in a locally relevant way, including the establishment of retail stores.”
Ham products are widely popular in Japan, where over 35 percent of consumers purchase it as often as once a week for use in salads, sandwiches, or by the slice. Consumables, including ham, are popular gift ideas as well. Gifting is an important part of Japanese culture, and shoppers appreciate and seek out high quality brands. While there are many options within the category, HoneyBaked’s glazed bone-in hams are unlike anything currently available in Japan.
“Honey Baked Ham has tested well with consumers in Japan,” adds Kraft. “In addition to ham, shoppers will be able to choose from an assortment of sides and desserts specially designed with the Japanese palate in mind. If the decades of success of this brand are any indication, HoneyBaked will soon find its place on family dinner tables and entertaining occasions across Japan.”