Japanese Luxury Fruits: Are fruits from Japan really fresh when delivered to America?

Japanese Luxury Fruits: Are fruits from Japan really fresh when delivered to America?

When you grab a box of strawberries from the supermarket, what’s the first thing you do?

For most people in the U.S., strawberries come in small, transparent plastic containers. There is nothing to protect them in transit as they bounce around with turbulence or get handled by rough packers. That’s why, when picking a box of strawberries to bring home, the first thing you do is check the box from the outside for damaged fruits. Inevitably, there are always at least one or two obviously bruised fruits in the box, or worse, the initial powdering of mold that spells the end of the rest of the box’s contents.

If these delicate fruits can barely survive the transportation between the domestic farms and nearby supermarkets, it’s difficult to imagine how even luxury Japanese strawberries can safely journey from the local farms in rural Japan to your table.

The good news is: you don’t have to imagine it, because that’s exactly what happens. Luxury fruits shipped from Japan to the states are juicy and fresh with an unparalleled taste experience. Read on to find out what makes this possible.

The Innovation of Japanese Fruit Packaging

If you’ve ever visited Japan, you know first-hand how important packaging is to the average Japanese consumer. Rather than a means to an end, the packaging of a product is considered an essential part of the customer experience. Therefore, the utmost thought and care is given to manifesting attractive, ergonomic designs that anticipate customer needs with an almost prophetic accuracy.

Some farmers like Nara Strawberry Lab. and BERRY have adopted cutting-edge packaging designs to ensure premium quality and freshness of their fruit. This package design is called “yuricargo” (you-ree-KAH-go), originating from “yurikago” the Japanese word for cradle. It enables their delicate crops to travel the vast distances across multiple oceans to reach their loyal customer base.

Image of packing strawberries

The design is aptly named. Much like a baby’s cradle protects them from accidentally falling in the night, Nara Strawberry Lab’s yuricargo ensures each individual strawberry remains securely in place during transit. By the time it arrives at your door, you’d never know the box in your hand has traveled thousands of miles just to meet you.

The bottom of the packaging is lined with a cushioned plastic bottom that is affixed by hand. The strawberries are cradled in the box, keeping them from being scratched or bruised from bouncing around during transport. In this segregated state, each strawberry can be individually weighed and inspected under strict standards. Producers can also take into consideration which strawberries are too heavy for certain positions in the yuricargo and keep the entire package perfectly balanced.

Image of strawberries being weighed

Once this inspection process is completed, the strawberries are wrapped in cellophane specifically designed to do no damage to the product. The final step is to place this precious cargo in the chic Nara Strawberry Lab outer packaging and send the shipments on their way.

Fruits from Japan Undergo Meticulous Inspection

Japanese farmers give each fruit an individual interrogation. This is essential when it comes to maintaining the freshness of these precious fruits, especially for overseas shipments. For strawberry farmer BERRY, inspection is key to deliver high quality strawberries. The founder of BERRY, Daiki Miyazawa says, “a scratch the size of a needle's edge could cause the strawberries to mold before they reach their destination”. That’s why the farmers at BERRY are trained to spot even the smallest holes to maintain the high quality of their precious strawberry gems.

Image of strawberries being inspected

Not only are the fruits inspected before they’re shipped from Japan, but they’re also inspected after they arrive in the states at the distribution centers. At Ikigai Fruits, we take inspection seriously because we know it affects the entire taste experience for our customers. That’s why we have strict inspection measures in place to ensure there’s no damage done to the fruits before they arrive at your door. We also ensure that the optimal temperature is maintained throughout the entire logistics process to preserve freshness.

In Japan, luxury is about so much more than the product. Giving customers the peace of mind that their goods have been cared for at every step of production is an unshakable conviction found in the best Japanese fruit producers.

From the beginning of its life cycle to the moment you take your first bite, a luxury Japanese strawberry has been literally cradled to perfection. They are inspected, measured, and shipped with a discerning eye that guarantees only the best specimens make it across the ocean to eagerly waiting clientele.

Serving their elite consumers only the most immaculate offering from every crop is something that brings our farmers great pride and drives them to share the joys of luxury Japanese strawberries with the world. Discover rare and precious Japanese strawberries and learn more about the farmers who craft them.

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