Contributing to Society through Food
The child-raising environment is undergoing major changes amid trends such as the shift towards nuclear families, households where both parents work, and single-parent families. Child poverty has also emerged as an issue in recent years, and there is a growing need for multi-faceted child-rearing support. Establishing healthy dietary habits during childhood fosters a healthy personality, forming the basis for lifelong health. Meanwhile, it has become an important social challenge to extend healthy life expectancy as societies age, in order to improve individual quality of life and prevent social losses. In the aim of resolving issues such as assuring mental and physical health for children and extending healthy life expectancy, the Kewpie Group helps to create better societies through both its business activities and social contribution initiatives focused on dietary education.
Dietary Educational Activities
The Kewpie Group conveys food safety and security and the enjoyment and importance of food through food educational activities. We launched “Open Kitchen” factory tours in 1961, and since 2002 we have sent instructors to elementary schools throughout Japan to run “Mayonnaise Classes.”
We are also working to provide a wealth of information on food. Our efforts include the monthly publication of Kewpie News, a magazine providing information supporting mental and physical health, as well as “Media Library Activities,” which include the free distribution of DVDs to schools and consumer lifestyle centers.
Kewpie believes that the factory is an extension of the kitchen at home and accordingly calls its factory tours for the general public an “Open Kitchen” tour. We believe these tours present the best opportunity for our customers to see how products are made, to gain a better understand of the products, and to feel more assured about their use.
Kewpie launched Open Kitchen factory tours in 1961. It was rare at the time for food industry companies to open production sites to the public, and our tours were initiated as part of social studies field trips for elementary school students. We now host about 70,000 visitors intent on studying local industry each year.
Support for Food Bank Activities
According to statistics published by Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, around 6.12 million tons of food is wasted per year (estimates in fiscal 2019) in Japan, despite still being edible. Meanwhile, many people struggle to consume adequate meals. Since 2007, the Kewpie Group has supported food bank* activities run by the NPO Second Harvest Japan and donated goods such as mayonnaise, dressing, and jam. In fiscal 2019, nine offices in Japan belonging to three group companies donated to eight food bank groups in several areas.
*Food banks accept factory seconds produced during food manufacturing and provide them free of charge to persons in need and welfare facilities such as foster centers.
Supporting Child Poverty Initiatives through Food
Lifestyles and diets have diversified rapidly in recent years, but this shift has been accompanied by increasingly serious social issues surrounding food, including a decline in food knowledge and interest particularly among the younger generation, the dwindling of mealtime communication, and child poverty. Based on the spirit of contributing to society through food that has driven Kewpie’s business activities since the company was first founded, in April 2017 we established the Kewpie Mirai Tamago Foundation*. Through wide-ranging support for the activities of like-minded groups, we hope to accomplish a level of social contribution not achievable by a single enterprise acting alone. As well as conducting our own dietary educational activities, we take a long-term perspective on creating healthy and sustainable societies.
*Since April 1, 2019, the Kewpie Miraitamago Foundation switched to a Public Interest Incorporated Foundation.
Kewpie Mirai Tamago Foundation, a public interest incorporated foundation
The main focus of this foundation is donating to organizations that create meaningful spaces in which children can relax and gain a stronger sense of belonging through food, such as those devoted to food education and the Kodomo Shokudo Network. Held activity report meetings and lectures from those involved in the management and support of initiatives such as Kodomo Shokudo on the role of children’s cafeterias and the importance of hygiene and food education as part of a course on establishing meaningful spaces for children.