Messages from three members of Nobels Food involved in management and sales. Discover the Nobels Group passion for and commitment to beef production, and learn about the appeal of our new beef brand N34.

Our commitment and passionこだわり

An introduction to Nobels Food as told by members of senior management. Nobels is a food company conducting sales of their original beef brand in Japan and the United States.

  • Left : Naoko SawadaNobels Food Co., Ltd.Deputy Sales Manager

  • Right : Yasuhiro NIshioNobels Co.,Ltd.Executive Officer(Nobels Food Co.,Ltd. Previous President)

Nishio : Nobels Food is responsible for the processing and sales of beef produced at cattle farms operated by the Nobels Group, one of Japan’s top companies in terms of both production scale and technological capabilities as producers of beef and raw milk products.
Nobels, our Group company operating the cattle farms on which our beef cattle are raised, was established in Tokachi, Hokkaido in 2006. This means the Nobels Group itself is still very young, but also means that as a company and a Group we have a lot of room for growth. Our company, Nobels Food, was established in 2009, so it’s not surprising that we are still not very well known in Japan or America.


Sawada : Japan is the birthplace of various types of unique beef brands. Since our founding, Nobels Food has worked to develop and expand the Tokachi Herb Beef brand but establishing a beef brand in the Japanese market is no easy task. From regional producer associations to major corporate farms and imported beef from America and Australia, all of these brands start off by winning the support of the consumer and gradually expanding share.


Nishio : However, the approach the Nobels Group takes to cattle production is unique in Japan, and perhaps around the world. The Nobels Group practices a unique production style we refer to as a “hybrid cattle single-birth nurturing cycle”. In the vast agricultural land of Hokkaido, it is fairly common for cattle farmers to crossbreed Holstein dairy cows with Japanese black cattle, Japan’s unique breed of beef cattle, to raise hybrid calves that can be raised into high added-value beef cattle. These hybrid cattle possess the high-volume marbling traits of the Japanese black cattle combined with the high meat volume traits of the Holstein breed. The Nobels Group turned our focus to these cattle.


Sawada : Of these hybrids, Nobels procures only the female cows from cattle farmers. This is because the meat of female cows tends to be particularly tender. We carefully raise these beef cattle and ship them at an age of at least 32 months and up to 40 months, a long nurturing period that is nearly unheard of in our industry. During this process, we have female cattle give birth to a single calf, allow the cattle to experience a natural life cycle and give birth to new generation of calves. Finally, these healthy and mature cows are fed over a certain period of time to increase their volume prior to shipment. This unique production method is our "hybrid cattle single-birth nurturing cycle".

Nishio : Nobels is the first company in Japan to achieve large-scale commercialization using this production method. The time and commitment required to nurture cattle over such a long period of time represents a significant challenge. And unless we can solidify brand recognition for this beef and gain support from the market, we cannot call our commercialization efforts a success.
However, more than anything we are committed to producing and delivering delicious beef to our customers.

What the chefs need…シェフの皆さまが牛肉に求めること

What do you view as the corporate mission of Nobels Food?

Sawada : We at Nobels Food have two missions. The first is to convey to the market our passion and commitment as producers. Our other mission is to embrace the perspective of restaurant chefs, our main customers, as well as the restaurant guests they serve and provide thoughtful services centered on delivering high-quality beef in a format that is easy to transform into delicious cuisine.

Nishio : I think about what chefs desire in the beef they transform from a food ingredient to delicious foods for their guests. I feel like chefs dedicated to their art look to go beyond making their guests happy. What they strive for is to provide their guests with a moving experience, pouring their heart and soul into every aspect of menu planning and service. If that is the case, we cannot be satisfied with simply providing beef. That is why we pour our hearts and souls into every aspect of our production processes, from product checks to preparation. Our commitment is to providing the ingredients that allows chefs to be their best.

Sawada : The types of inquiries and orders we receive from chefs vary widely. From preparations for sudden reservations from VIP customers to selecting beef for new menu development, conditions and needs differ with each chef. What’s most required of us sales staff is the ability to make beneficial proposals and provide detailed customer service. I work in Tokachi, Hokkaido but I always feel like I am collaborating with chefs throughout Japan on menu development and making meals together.

Nobels Food

Nishio : Working with top chefs, I constantly exposed to their dedication and highly professional approach to cooking, and their overwhelming passion towards their work. I feel highly motivated to ensuring our ability to respond to their passion by accurately ascertaining their needs and providing both high-quality beef and excellent service.

The garnet category of beefガーネット系という牛肉のカテゴリー

Following up on the original Tokachi Herb Beef brand, sold mainly throughout Japan, Nobels is moving towards the full-scale launch of the new N34 beef brand in Japan and America.

Nishio : Establishing some of the strictest voluntary shipment standards in the industry, Nobels Food has thus far focused on sales of Tokachi Herb Beef in Japan. With a wide range of marbling profiles, some cuts with significant marbling and others with relatively low marbling, Tokachi Herb Beef is a highly diverse beef brand capable of addressing the needs of various customers. However, in both Japan and America, beef consumption trends continue to diversify. Thus, we realized that we can better take advantage of our strengths and better convey the value of our beef by adding a grading process.


Sawada : As represented by the name, the new N34 brand refers to hybrid cows that the Nobels Group nurtures for at least 34 months. This nurturing period is two months longer than the 32 months or more required for Tokachi Herb Beef. We further limit beef selection to only 8 of the highest quality parts, such as sirloin and tenderloin. With a lower but ideal amount of marbling, N34 is characterized by the deep red color of the beef.
With a color that resembles a garnet gemstone, we are positioning this beef in a new category we refer to as garnet beef.


Nishio : The Nobels Group produces and ships around 3,000 fully nurtured hybrid cows per year but only a small number will fulfill the strict conditions required to be branded as N34 garnet beef. Nobels Food is a food company but it is our position as members of the Nobels Group that makes quality management under these strict grading standards possible.
Beef redness grows darker with a longer nurturing period. This process adds richness of flavor and a mild yet mouth-watering marbling aroma. With a flavor and aroma profile is an ideal match for French and Italian cuisine, N34 is rapidly gaining popularity as a new category of beef not previously available to chefs.

Beef brand loved by chefsシェフに愛される牛肉ブランド

Why are you planning to expand sales N34 beyond Japan in the future to include America?

Sawada : It is well known that the culture of using beef as a food ingredient began in Europe with the development of western civilization and later expanded dynamically in America. Today, beef is rooted deep in the European and American food culture.
As a Japanese food company, we at Nobels Food seek to put the quality and value of the beef we produce to the ultimate test by taking our product to the heart of the beef food culture.

New York city

Nishio : What the market refers to as "lean beef" is the main commodity among beef distributed globally. The culture of "shimofuri" beef that developed uniquely in Japan represented a proposal to the global meat market for a different type of value. In this sense, the N34 beef sold by the Nobels Group in Japan and America represents another new value proposal developed in Japan. N34 is unique in that it shifts the focus back to the natural, rich, delicious flavor of red meat while providing a mild, mouth-watering flavor of fine marbling. We are confident that the flavor and texture of N34 will gain many followers on American markets.

Sawada : With the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, global interest in Japanese culture and cuisine will continue to rise. Japan possesses a unique, delicate aesthetic awareness that differs from Asian and western countries, and which can often even surprise foreign visitors to Japan. Japan also has a strong tradition of refined and detailed customer service, what we refer to in Japan as "omotenashi", the spirit of hospitality. The N34 we provide is loved and supported by many chefs in Japan, and we want to develop N34 into a beef brand that is supported by many chefs in America as well.

Nishio : As a corporate Group, Nobels embraces the philosophy of bring excitement and happiness through agriculture. Under this philosophy, we are committed to striving for innovation. This commitment is not limited to production at our cattle farms. This same commitment is embraced at Nobels Food in our working delivering high-quality beef. Regardless of culture or country, the smile that comes with eating delicious food is something that is shared by people throughout the world. From world-renowned gourmet cities such as Tokyo, Kyoto, and New York, we want to bring smiles to people all over the world.

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