Outdoor Spice” from rural Wakayama was born by accident!
Outdoor Spice HORINOSHI,” which caught fire mainly among camping enthusiasts, has exploded in popularity, selling a total of 4.3 million units in the spice industry, where it is said to be a big hit if 30,000 units are sold. Why is it so popular? We asked the president of the parent company of Orange, an outdoor store in Wakayama Prefecture, the company that sells horinashi, about the “mystery of horinashi.
Five years in the making…more than 70 sample products and 130 tastings!
If you don’t know what it tastes like, you can’t talk about it. So, first we bought the standard of several in the series. I stir-fried some edamame and poured some hirinshi on it…. It was indeed delicious. A hint of garlic flavor and just the right amount of salt. And it is so versatile that it can easily be used in Japanese, Western, and Chinese dishes….
I thought it would be troublesome to carry a lot of seasonings when going camping or climbing mountains, so I wondered if an all-in-one product would be possible. It took us five years to create this product from such a conception.
We made more than 70 sample products and conducted more than 130 tasting tests.
We used 21 different ingredients. The “millepore powder” is said to be the decisive factor in the flavor.
It goes well with meat, fish, vegetables, and just about anything else. It is also good as furikake (sprinkles). The fact that this was created by a group of amateurs who just love to camp is a scary fact.
The taste was almost complete with 20 kinds of spices, and then we added some mandarin orange peel, which gave the spices a more intense flavor.
About 30 people, including Orange staff and my company’s employees, worked together in a trial-and-error fashion, adding this and subtracting that in an analog way to create the dish.
I think the miraculous spice created in Katsuragi Town in Wakayama Prefecture, a rural area with only 16,000 inhabitants, could have been the product of a coincidence.
It was completed by amateurs who, in their own amateur way, worked very hard in discussions, so it would be difficult to make a second one like this.
This story is very convincing. The name of the product, “Horinishi,” was taken from Mr. Horinishi, who was the store manager at Orange at the time and was a key figure in the development of the product.
The store that makes “Horinishi” is now called “Orange”. I used to have a surf shop, but Horinishi has been coming to my shop since he was in high school.
(Laughs.) “I used to run a surf store, but Horinishi has been coming to my shop since he was in high school.
I used to have a surf shop, but Horinishi came to my shop when he was in high school. He became charismatic when he became successful, but he was a soft and gentle boy. Now she has risen through the ranks to become a manager. The three of us, Horinishi, myself, and one other person named Yamamoto, are the core members of the development team. We are the three of us.
We wanted to use a kappo-style name, so when we decided on a name, we added the hashtags “Horinishi, Ikeda, Yamamoto” and “#Ikeda” and “#Yamamoto” to the search results, and we got thousands of hits. I found thousands of entries for both “#Ikeda” and “#Yamamoto,” but only two for “#Horinishi” (laughs).
(Laughs.) Horinishi has a great personality, so I decided to use “Horinishi” partly because I wanted to sell his personality as well.
When the product was launched, it first became popular by word of mouth. Rumors that the product could only be obtained at an outdoor store in rural Wakayama also stimulated purchasing interest.
First I registered the trademark “Outdoor Spice. That led to the creation of the Outdoor Spice Corner, and all sorts of auction items started popping up. But I had this image of Horinashi sitting at the top of the pile.
The first place we put our products other than the store was a clothing boutique that had nothing to do with the outdoors. We started with a sharp point and worked our way down, and after a year, we expanded to high-end supermarkets and high-quality supermarkets, which are mainly frequented by the high-end, upper-class customers.
I know it’s a bit of a stretch for me to say this, but I think Orange is a store with some recognition in the industry, so we were able to brand ourselves. That’s why we were able to brand ourselves, but it used to be that it was Orange that put out the horishi, but now, on the contrary, the stores that make horishi are now called Orange (laughs).
Revitalizing local communities with horinshi! In fact, it is a rather grandiose project, “Gotochi HORINISHI”.
But Ikeda says he was fine with that.
What he wanted to do was to revitalize a rural area. He is proud that he was able to produce a hit product from the small town of Katsuragi, Wakayama Prefecture, and contribute to the revitalization of the region.
Mr. Ikeda is now focusing on a project called “Gotochi Honorishi. These are regional horinshi with a label design that symbolizes the area, and can only be obtained in that particular area.
We wanted to make the best use of the unique characteristics of horinashi, which goes well with everything, to discover local cuisine and regional specialties,” said Mr. Kurokawa.
We would like to develop new local dishes using the popular “horinashi,” which has become a dark image. I think it would be interesting to make it a competition like the Koshien (high school baseball tournament).
We want to energize Japan and revitalize towns with horinshi. Mr. Ikeda’s dream is to create a trend in which people from the countryside can help to revitalize other regions. A big wave started by a little spice, this is something you might want to support.
Michio Ikeda was born in Katsuragi Town, Wakayama Prefecture in 1971. After opening a surf store in the town, he founded Mimona, a retailer and wholesaler of outdoor and sporting goods, in 2006. He started “Orange Outdoor Shop” in ’14. The all-purpose spice “Outdoor Spice Honinshi” became a big hit in 2007, selling over 4.3 million bottles in total.
Interview and text： Chimasa Ide