Raw sugar popular among foreign tourists

A survey of consumer food preferences among foreign tourists conducted by Okinawa General Bureau shows that among products they bought for snacks, the most popular is packed raw sugar, known in Japanese as “kokuto.” Purple potato sweets were the second most popular.

Perishables were the most mentioned products they “wanted to buy, but did not” because quarantine problems when taking them home.

The research was executed from last December through February this year. 767 passengers from cruise boats and 550 foreign visitors visitong produce stands answered the questionnaire.

Regarding products they purchased, 24% of cruise passengers bought raw sugar, and 11.3% purple potato sweets. 12.2% of visitors to produce stands bought raw sugar, and 8.3% purple potato sweets. A travel agency representative said, “Kokuto has a good health image, and Okinawa-made kokuto is valued for its purity and high quality.”

Regarding products that they wanted but did not buy, 29% of cruise passengers and 21.7% of produce stand visitors said they refrained from buying because they were uncertain if they would be allowed to carry them home. The products the visitors mentioned included Ishigaki beef, pineapples, and processed meat product.