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Quitting the Founding Business and Branding Yakisoba Noodle Shop 4th Generation Increases Sales by 5 Times | Tsuginojidai Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook Instagram LINE Mail Mail Magazine Twitter Twitter Twitter Web Site YouTube

Table of Contents

  1. During my training period when I struggled with not selling
  2. Purchasing a machine backfired at first
  3. Branding with a counterfeit product
  4. Was overwhelmed Unification of products
  5. Development of deep-steamed noodles based on customer feedback
  6. Raising recognition and profits through store openings at events
  7. Increased media exposure< /li>
  8. Factors of success from the perspective of a long-established restaurant interviewed

Training days when it was difficult to sell

—Tell us about the history of Oisoya Seimenjo please

Founded in 1926 by the founder Ichitaro Isogai as "Oisoya Udon Shop", it became the current Oisoya Noodle Factory in 1962. I used to make both udon and yakisoba, but now I am focusing on yakisoba. Their main products are "Aged Yakisoba Noodles" made from 100% domestic wheat flour and sauces that go well with Yakisoba.

--Please tell us about your career before entering the family business.

Since I was little, I wanted to take over my family's noodle-making business, so after graduating from high school, I went to Nagoya Culinary Institute. This is because I wanted to cook and serve yakisoba when I took over.

After graduating, I got a job at a noodle manufacturing company for training. The boss of that company decided to set up an independent noodle-making company, and I also moved to the new company.

Immediately after joining the first company, I entered the production line, and after that I was in charge of delivery and simple sales. The second company I participated in from the start up started with walk-in sales to increase the number of customers from scratch. I was a fairly young man who didn't have much credibility, so I had a hard time selling it.

 The sales and production volume have increased over the difficult period. It was a time when my salary was rising and my work was becoming more enjoyable, but in 2002, two years after I started working, my family became ill and I had to return to my hometown.

Purchasing a machine backfired at first

--What kind of work did you do after joining the company?

At the time, it was a small company with only my mother and me as part-time employees, and we sold our own udon and yakisoba to local restaurants.

 Yakisoba was developed by my grandmother and was locally called "brown yakisoba" because the noodles were brown. Brownish wheat flour with a lot of minerals is used, which is ground to the outer skin of wheat, and it is brown because it is aged for a long time.

 I wanted to expand my business, so I started improving the outdated production line. This was because there was a hygienic problem and the production volume was limited.

With the money left by my mother, I bought a new machine and tried to establish a system to mass-produce the popular "brown fried noodles".

However, even if we recreated the "brown yakisoba" on the new production line, the taste was not the same, and the texture and taste of the noodles were inferior.

I couldn't find a clue even if I adjusted the amount of water or changed the kneading time.

 I reviewed each work and noticed the difference in the time the dough was allowed to rest. By using the new noodle-making line, the time from adding the batter to making the noodles was shortened.

At first, I thought it was a great advantage, but I was wrong. The old noodle-making line was only able to make it little by little, so it took a long time to make the noodles, and as a result, the dough had time to rest. This time made the noodles chewy and delicious.

 We took some time to let the dough rest, and when we tried it on a new noodle-making line, we succeeded in reproducing the taste. I was able to make noodles with the same taste in more quantity than before, so I decided to sell it.

Branding with Counterfeit Products

--How did you conduct sales?

 While I was making my first walk-in sales, I learned that Oisoya sold noodles similar to the package. Our company's noodles, which were locally called "brown yakisoba," didn't have the name "Oisoya" written on the package.

 The counterfeit product had the same font "Yakisoba" and the color scheme of the package. Also, the noodles had a similar brown color, so I think some people may have purchased them by mistake.

 However, the counterfeit product did not turn brown during the manufacturing process like Oisoya's, it was colored with caramel pigment or something, and it was not a delicious yakisoba.

Branded yakisoba by quitting the original business The 4th generation of the noodle shop has increased sales by 5 times | Tsuginojidai Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook Instagram LINE Mail Mail Magazine Twitter Twitter Twitter Web Site YouTube Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook Instagram LINE Mail Mail Magazine Twitter Twitter Twitter Web Site YouTube

I felt that Oisoya's yakisoba would lose its reputation if things went on like this, and I was keenly aware of the need to properly brand the product.

 When I started my business, I didn't register any trademarks or designs, so when I started my business, I noticed counterfeit products. Considering the future, we will proceed with changing the package and registering the trademark.

 The package has been renewed with the name "Oisoya". The name of the product will be “Jukusei Yakisoba”, and it will be announced as “Oisoya Jukusei Yakisoba”. “Jukusei Yakisoba” was registered as a trademark in 2018.

Consolidation of Products after Concerns

――I heard that you are now consolidating your products into yakisoba. Why did you stop making udon?

 It was originally founded as an Oiso udon shop, and when I joined the company, it sold both udon and yakisoba.

 It was called ``Memorial Service Udon'', which is eaten at the end of a memorial service, and the noodles were so soft that you could not eat them with chopsticks. On the other hand, sales of yakisoba increased.

 Udon was a product of the company's founding, and the locals thought it was an "udon restaurant", so I was worried. There is a phrase "Lanchester Strategy" for the weak to win against the strong, but I thought that a small existence like us cannot win unless we sharpen (products).

 Continuing the production of udon also caused the problem of not having time to make yakisoba. After much consideration, in 2008, the product was unified into yakisoba.

Development of deep-steamed noodles based on customer feedback

-Are you making any improvements to the aged yakisoba?

 I follow the basics of my grandmother's recipe. The use of wheat bran (the brown wheat husk that is often removed during wheat milling), which gives it its characteristic brown color, and a blend of five different types of wheat have not changed. However, in order to make it more delicious, the content of the five types of blends is changed little by little.

 In order to make it a safer product, the ingredients were gradually switched to domestic wheat, and in the summer of 2009, it was made with 100% domestic wheat.

 I was worried about the cost increase, but when we ate the noodles made with 100% domestically produced wheat, everyone said, "It tasted better." We decided to keep costs down as much as possible while improving production efficiency.

In 2016, we also launched deep-steamed noodles as a new product. After packing the "aged yakisoba" into a bag, it is further steamed in a steamer.

 Regular ``Aged Yakisoba'' has a shelf life of 6 days, and the supermarket asked if it could be extended a little longer. To meet the needs, we created a deep-steamed product with a long shelf life of 20 days, which is now available in supermarkets far away.

Awareness and profits from store openings at events

--You are also actively promoting store openings at events.

 Opening a store at the event started in 2015. One of the reasons for this is that we originally focused on wholesale to restaurants, so we wanted to increase opportunities to directly appeal to customers.

 Yakisoba is baked at local festivals, corporate events, and product exhibitions. Another aim was to create an opportunity for employees to hear directly from customers.

 Opening a store at an event is both an opportunity to raise awareness and a measure to increase profits.

 If you serve yakisoba at a typical restaurant, I think there are many restaurants that make it for each meal. However, we can make a large amount of food at one time on a large iron plate, so we can turn around 200 meals for two people and still make a lot of profit.

 By showing us how we make it, it's also a demonstration that we can appeal that ``this is how yakisoba is made.''

 For me, it is also a "place for communication" with employees who I can't usually talk to.

Increase in media exposure

-Oisoya Seimenjo has grown significantly, with media coverage for its ``aged yakisoba''.

 Because of the successful branding and increased media exposure, the annual sales, which was about 20 million yen when I joined the company in 2002, increased to 100 million yen in 2020.

Immediately after joining the company, I increased the number by focusing on sales that no one else was involved in. After that, we adjusted the logo and name so that people would remember that "Oisoya's matured yakisoba" is delicious, instead of the ambiguous image of "brown yakisoba is delicious", and I think that the number of inquiries has increased.

 By specializing in yakisoba, it was picked up by many media outlets, which is one of the reasons for the increase in sales. There are few makers that specialize in yakisoba, and the way the noodles are made by hand can be seen on television, so we continue to receive offers for coverage.

 Increased exposure in media and events, increased inquiries from supermarkets. We are continuing to enhance our production lines by developing new products to extend the shelf life and introducing metal detectors to check for metal fragments, which is a prerequisite for transactions at mass retailers. I think that each of these measures led to an increase in sales.

Factors of success seen from the interviewed long-established restaurant

I interviewed Oisoya out of curiosity, ``I wonder what kind of person is making such delicious yakisoba.'' What surprised me when I heard the story was the fact that yakisoba itself was a long-established product created by Mr. Isogai's grandmother, and sales have increased without any major changes.

 Many of the long-established companies whose sales have improved significantly have achieved this through product revisions and new products.

 Oisoya did not focus on the product itself, but on "branding" including revision of the name and packaging, narrowing down to yakisoba, etc., and "opening events" to increase contact points with customers, resulting in increased media exposure. , business expanded through a virtuous cycle of increasing the number of wholesalers.

 When we wanted to increase our sales, I felt that understanding our strengths and taking steps to take advantage of those strengths was the key to our success.

"What are our strengths?" This interview made me realize the importance of that question again.

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