Exhibition at the international trade show Maison et Objet: developing a market opportunity in Europe – let the challenge begin!

As a project to mark the 400th anniversary of the founding of Arita pottery, Saga Prefecture exhibited craft products at Maison et Objet, one of the largest interior design international trade fairs in Europe, for the third consecutive year (starting last Sep in 2015) with the goal of rebranding Arita pottery and expanding its sales outlet in Europe. 

ARITA PORCELAIN LAB, as a member of the eight exhibition operators of the ARITA 400 project, will take on the challenge of developing a marketing opportunity in Europe, and being the producer for ARITA PORCELAIN LAB, I supported the tasks related to the exhibit at Maison et Objet.

On the first day, a reception hosted by Saga Prefectural Government was held where the prefectural governor’s sales promotion of the Arita potteries was carried out. In response to these efforts, Mr. Philippe Brocart, who is the organizer of Maison et Objet, said in his speech that Maison et Objet is willing to support Arita’s business development and that Arita’s participation in the exhibition will lead to friendly relations between the two countries. Following this, Ms. Kida, the brand director of ELLE DECO, also conveyed her words of support, saying that Arita’s good showing in the global market will serve as a stimulus to the traditional craft of the world.

The exhibition site was filled with excitement, and we received positive responses from many buyers, press people and guests, including comments such as: “wonderful, beautiful”, “impressed by the skills supported by the long tradition”, “want to write a feature article”, “want catalogue and brochures”.

We welcomed the guests with finger foods and beverages such as champagne. Nabeshima Japanese sake, a specialty from Saga, was served as well.

Mr. Okuyama, the producer of our exhibit, is a world famous industrial designer who has designed Ferrari models and has abundant experience in exhibiting products at world fairs in Europe.

ARITA PORCELAIN LAB CEO Satoru Matsumoto
ARITA PORCELAIN LAB CEO Satoru Matsumoto

Among the ARITA PORCELAIN LAB products, the lovely pink-colored tableware from the Japan Cherry series, gold plates using proprietary that are microwave-safe and dishwasher-safe, and snow-colored three tier boxes with a platinum glaze, drew many visitors’ attention.

Soy sauce bottles also attracted a lot of attention, and I realized that soy sauce is now widely and commonly used in Europe. When I explained to a visitor that the spout is specially treated so that soy sauce doesn’t drip or spill, the enthusiastic guest asked me, “I want to buy it, where can I get one?” So, I introduced Discover Japan, which is a sales agency of ARITA PORCELAIN LAB in Paris, to the guest. 

Mr. Shiokawa, a business operator, was responsible for the exhibition and sales of the products of ARITA PORCELAIN LAB that was also one of the nine participants for the cool Japan project called Re-JAPON PROJECT held in 2012. This time, we handled the exhibition and sales of the products of ARITA PORCELAIN LAB after the completion of the Maison et Objet from September 12 to 24 at our sales agency. During the exhibition, we set up the ARITA SUSHI BAR to treat visitors with rolled sushi (maki sushi), hand made by Franco-Japonais cooking expert Ms. Laure Kié, and Japanese Sake sponsored by three sake makers in Saga Prefecture. I’ll make a detailed report of the sushi bar in the next bulletin. Don’t miss it!

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