Irish steak will feature on the menu of a leading restaurant chain in Japan for the first time.
Negishi will understand Irish Rib eye steak on its menus during this Christmas period for thousands of customers.
The chain has 40 outlets in the Tokyo area and specializes in various types of grilled beef tongue, considered a delicacy in Japan.
From December 10 to 25, the restaurant chain will be offering city dwellers the chance to experience grass-fed Irish rib eye at ten of its busiest locations.
Negishi, which serves around 100,000 customers / week in its restaurant network, was one of the first to adopt Irish beef in Japan.
The chain has now become a key customer for Irish beef.
In addition to including Irish beef on its menus this holiday season, Negishi will also be offering patrons the option to purchase a can of steak and Irish language online.
Japan is the third largest importer of beef in the world.
Irish beef exports to Japan increased from 2,323 t in 2019 to 4,120 t in 2020; its value rose from 9.5 million euros to 15.7 million euros over the same period.
Duties on imported beef fell from 38.5% in 2018 to 25% in 2021, a decrease of 13.5%.
This allowed Ireland to compete with Australia and the United States, which have market shares in Japan of 44% and 42% respectively.
Ireland is now the seventh largest exporter of beef to the Asian country.
Joe Moore, Bord Bia Market Specialist for Japan, said: “Knowledge and awareness of Ireland as a stable source of quality beef has grown significantly in the Japanese market in recent years.
“Japan is one of the largest importers of meat in the world, and the Irish steak on the restaurant chain’s menu is a testament to the Irish food industry’s continued efforts to break into this market.
Bord Bia said that although the initial growth was manifested in the form of tongue and other offal, more recently Japan has emerged as a destination for premium beef.