Skip to main content

An entrepreneurial Kiwi snack brand has taken out a gold award at a major Japanese trade show. Tom & Luke, distributed by Cookie Time Japan, won gold in the snack category at Foodex Japan – Asia’s largest trade show dedicated to food and drink.

The event, held this week, features 10 display halls, more than 4000 booths from domestic and international brands, and attracts more than 80,000 attendees.

This is Tom & Luke’s first foray into Japan, with their products to be exclusively distributed by Cookie Time Japan. 

Luke Cooper, one half of the Tom & Luke partnership, says they are blown away by the reception they are getting in Japan and honoured by the award. “The Japanese market is a major focus for us and we’re delighted to win gold in our first outing. It’s also amazing to have the on-the-ground knowledge of Cookie Time, which has incredible brand recognition in this market.”

Tom & Luke Fruit & Nut Snackaballs, launched in 2016, became the number one selling Fruit & Nut Ball range in New Zealand in 2016 and in Australia in 2017.

“Our mission is to inspire people to live their best life, starting with the food we eat. And we want to take that global, beginning right here in Japan,” Cooper says.  

Guy Pope-Mayell, Cookie Time International managing director, says Foodex will take Cookie Time and Tom & Luke’s wholesale plans to the next level.

Cookie Time last year started wholesaling its cookies through Japan’s Natural Lawsons, Kaldi and other leading grocery and convenience chains. This is on the back of the success of the Cookie Time Cookie Bar in Harajuku, established in 2013. The Cookie Bar is centered around Cookie Time’s beloved Cookie Muncher character and is a premium and contemporary retail space offering freshly baked cookies, cookie-related products, gifting, and merchandise. Cookie Time Japan was established in 2015 to focus on opportunities created from this, including wholesale.

“The magic of the Cookie Bar experience is that it has translated into passionate and dedicated brand fans, helping set the scene for wholesale demand”, says Pope-Mayell.

The recent activation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) has provided further impetus.

“We have always been excited about the potential in Japan but with reducing tariffs and barriers we have been given a welcome shot of fresh confidence,’ Pope-Mayell says.

Photo: Tom Dorman (left) and Luke Cooper (right) at Foodex Japan

Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


Dishing up export possibilities

Exporter Today Editorial TeamExporter Today Editorial TeamApril 16, 2012

What’s mine is not yours

Exporter Today Editorial TeamExporter Today Editorial TeamApril 16, 2012

25 countries… and counting

Exporter Today Editorial TeamExporter Today Editorial TeamApril 16, 2012