The purpose of this paper is to clarify the demand and market power of green tea beverage brands in Japan. We use the Berry, Levinsohn and Pakes （BLP) model for analysis and focus on the effect of catechin, the functional ingredient of green tea beverages, on the demand structure and market power. The main results of the analysis are as follows: First, the consumer selects the brand with a low price if the catechin content is constant and the brand with a high catechin content if the price is constant. Second, regarding unobserved characteristics, a brand approved as food for specific health uses provides relatively high utility to consumers. Third, the market power of ITO EN, SUNTORY, Coca-Cola, KIRIN, and AEON is roughly the same; however, that of KAO is relatively low. Fourth, the trend suggests that the lower the price （i.e., the lower the catechin content), the higher the market power, and the higher the price （i.e., the higher the catechin content), the lower the market power.
This conference focused on the downstream sector of the food system, such as food manufacturing and restaurants and aimed to find innovations in the local food system of Saitama prefecture, especially from the efforts of practitioners. In addition, the impact of COVID-19 on the local food system was discussed. Three presenters presented practical examples of Saitama's local food system, and one commentator commented on the presentations. After discussing the challenges and prospects of the local food system, the following four issues were clarified. First, it is necessary to analyze the local food system based on the externalization of food. Second, it is necessary to consider how to understand local food in the global world. Third, it is necessary to analyze the local food system based on the mobility of people and goods. Fourth, it is necessary to consider how to find new needs during the coronavirus crisis.
When spreading awareness of the uniqueness of Saitama Prefecture around the world, instead of “assimilating Saitama into the world” by “internalizing the world into Saitama,” the reachable scale between its microcosmic and macrocosmic spans can be changed, which allows us to achieve sustainable environmental activities. This is one of the consequential resolutions undertaken to establish “the Saitama brand” through my practical activities in the Kawagoe volunteer organization.
Kyodosyoji Corporation Limited, based in Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture, started their beer business in 1996. Their product was manufactured as “local beer” for the first ten years. It has been manufactured as “craft beer” following the establishment of the brand COEDO in 2006. At that time, the craft beer market did not exist in Japan. It has been gradually cultivated by carefully combining raw materials, appropriate tools, and craftsmanship. The product concept of “ Beer Beautiful” conveys that beer itself is wonderful and the Japanese people are not aware of it. In addition to branding, design management has also been emphasized. Currently, the distribution network of COEDO craft beers is being built in 25 countries worldwide. Due to COVID-19, the distribution volume has decreased for both the domestic restaurant industry and overseas markets. In the future, the company plans to return to the region and practice “town development with a brewery” for a long time.
Saitama European Vegetables Study Group was established in 2013 to locally produce and distribute European vegetables used in Italian restaurants around Saitama City. A group of young farmers in the area produce European vegetables, and a wholesaler who handles dried foods delivers them to restaurants around the city, forming the distribution system of this group. Farmers have been increasing the shipment value of European vegetables year by year under this distribution system. Additionally, the group has also provided vegetables for school lunches to foster local love and create fans. The activities of the group have been highlighted by the media and are increasingly attracting attention. At the G20 Agriculture Ministers' Meeting （2019), the group's efforts were presented as an advanced example of high value-added vegetable production in Japan. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the group is working on rebuilding the distribution system to increase the number of wholesalers, operating e-commerce sites to enable direct sales to consumers, opening an antenna shop, and developing processed products.