Japanese snack company Calbee is to start producing its Frugra granola for the Chinese market, CEO Akira Matsumoto told journalists in Tokyo today (10 May).

Frugra products on sale in Japan are made at a Calbee plant in Utsunomiya city, north of Tokyo.

Production of Frugra for China will start in August at a new facility, further north in Hokkaido, which will have the capacity to produce JPY4bn’s worth of granola a year.

To keep up with anticipated strong demand from China, Calbee is also investing about JPY7bn to build another new granola facility in Kyoto, scheduled to start operation in the summer of 2018, mainly producing the 800g pack Frugra, although that plant will also cater for the Japanese market.

“Frugra from our Hokkaido facility will be 100% for China, and the majority [of output] from the Kyoto facility will also go to China,” Matsumoto said.

As for sales strategy, Calbee has an online store on Tmall, the popular Chinese business-to-consumer site, selling snacks. The company has yet to disclose whether and when Frugra will be on Tmall. It has also yet to reveal which of Frugra’s nine flavour variants, today including strawberry and coconut, will be exported to China.