Traditional Japanese cooking ingredients such as soy sauce, mirin and miso were once ingredients that were only accessible at specialty Asian stores. The expansion of AFC’s product line to include these ingredients, along with various other sushi-related products, gave the mainstream consumer access to traditional Japanese ingredients at their local supermarkets.
These products are often marked ‘natural’ to appeal to the growing health conscious consumer, and are also marketed as versatile, so that these products may be used for cooking meals other than sushi. The addition of these products not only diversified the supermarkets’ product selection, but also familiarized the mainstream consumer with traditional Japanese ingredients so that they may enjoy Japanese cuisine at home. AFC’s push to produce these products and enter them into the mainstream market reveals the ways in which this company, along with companies alike, pioneered the popularization of Japanese food in America, and thereby its significant contribution to the development of American food culture.