[Nagoya] "Oriental Curry", A Long-selling Curry Brand in Japan!

Posting date: 2020.12.15
[Nagoya] "Oriental Curry", A Long-selling Curry Brand in Japan!

The “originator” of instant curry! I went to the factory of "Oriental Curry" originated in Nagoya.

"Oriental Curry" is well-known for its Oriental Boy character. It is the original instant curry that Nagoya is proud of and has been loved by men and women of all ages with a taste that has remained unchanged since 1945, just after the end of the war.

It is so familiar that many people may not know the history of Oriental Curry or its commitment. We went to Oriental Corporation in Inazawa City, Aichi Prefecture, to find out more!

Let's go!

Oriental Co., Ltd. is located in Inazawa City, Aichi Prefecture. The atmosphere is full of tropical mood, suitable for the name of Oriental.

When you enter, you will be greeted by an Oriental Boy disguised as Santa Claus.

We would like to interview about various topics right away. This time, we are pleased to have Mr. Yasunori Hoshino of the Administration Division answer to our questions.

Authentic curry that anyone can easily make

Founder Masuichiro Hoshino

Founder Masuichiro Hoshino

First, I would like to ask you about the history of the Oriental.

Mr. Hoshino:"Oriental was founded in 1913 (Taisho 2). At that time, we were running an imported food trading company under the name Toyo Shokuhin. After the war, while searching for a new business, I came across curry, which was becoming popular as a home-style dish.

However, at that time, curry was a very time-consuming dish, requiring first frying flour in oil and then adding curry powder to make a roux. It also required meat and vegetable broth, so it was not a dish that could be easily prepared at home by the general public. We took advantage of this and commercialized instant curry in powder form by adding pure curry powder to stir-fried wheat flour in advance.

The transition of the package in order from the top. Since its birth in November 1945, the retro packaging has remained unchanged even today.

Mr. Hoshino:"At the time, a single piece of red bean paste bun was 5 yen for powdered curry roux, which was easy to cook without all the troublesome processes, and 'instant curry' was 35 yen for 5 dishes. The price is not cheap at all. Despite this, it seems that sales have steadily increased.I also heard that curry was being sold from carts back then.”

Touring all over the country with a new advertising method

Advertising car at the time

They are handing out spoons and balloons of Oriental Boy characters.

Mr. Hoshino: "In 1953, when Oriental Co., Ltd. became a corporation, the name of Oriental Curry spread with a novel advertising method. It was an era without entertainment, so various entertainers such as dancing and street performances were put in advertising cars, We traveled all over the country with innovative promotional activities that combined performances and curry tasting event."

comedy by comedians

Tomi Fujiyama singing "Oriental Curry Song" in a public recording of a radio program.

Advertising car with modified rear seats

Mr. Hoshino: “We parked our cars in places where people gather, such as in front of train stations and housing complexes, and built a stage in the back of our promotional car, which was a modified large truck. The comedians who appeared in the show were hired as full-time employees, and at its peak it seems that about 40 people and about 10 advertising cars were in operation.

Once the show is over, comedians will teach you how to make "instant curry" and sell it. In this way, we sold instant curry all over the country. ”

Oriental curry

The commercial for snack curry that aired around 1969 featured comedian Toshiaki Minami. The Nagoya dialect phrase "Hayashi mo aru deyo~ (Hayashi, rice with hashed beef, is also there)" has become so popular that it has become a buzzword.

In 1969, the factory moved from Kamejima, Nakamura Ward to its current location. I was surprised to learn that the company building had a botanical garden and a zoo at that time.

The original spoons, which are still popular today, are gaining attention again from the younger generation, with some of the early ones having a premium price.

Mr. Hoshino:"For the promotion, we gave out spoons with the face of an Oriental Boy as a promotional item. We have distributed more than 30 million spoons so far, so there may still be at least one in each household. As for the background of handing out spoons, it seems that at that time, Western food was still unfamiliar, and there were few households with spoons.

In addition, we increased our name recognition not only by advertising cars, but also by providing TV and radio and advertisements such as commercial songs. The CM song "Oriental Curry no Uta" was created for radio advertising and became a big hit. It is also Japan's first full-fledged CM song. ”

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