What I learned through the fieldwork in Singapore

Tomita Saori,
School of Economics, Nagoya University
About our research of ramen:
Firstly, we researched about ramen. Because the price of Japanese ramen in Singapore is more expensive than the price of other local food such as chicken rice in hawker center, we thought ramen is not common with many Singapore people, so we thought only rich people often eat Japanese ramen in Singapore. Well, we thought if we reduce the price of Japanese ramen more and more, many Singapore people can eat Japanese ramen than before and Japanese ramen will be common food in Singapore. Then, we thought that the reason of high price are two things. One is regulation of the import of food. Secondly, public infrastructure development is not enough, especially between Thailand and Malaysia, Vietnam, and Cambodia, there are not enough transportation. So, if we can resolve these problems, we can reduce the price of Japanese ramen.

Through the fieldwork:
 Although when we make a presentation in JETRO, we received some opinion which is different from our opinion. For example, JETRO officer said that what do you want to do? Do you want to increase the import of ASEAN, or do you want to spread Japanese food? In addition, if we use foreign product in Japanese food, this Japanese food may not be able to call a Japanese food, and the problem arise such as how to promote. If we use many foreign product to make a Japanese food, we cannot say that this dish is made from Japanese food. And he said the reason of popularity of Japanese food is not only taste but also the good image such as safety, healthy and the demand of inbound. For example, when Singapore people come to Japan, and eat a Japanese food, they become to want to eat this one in Singapore. These things which we heard in JETRO is difficult problem. And, this changed our opinion. So, the most important thing is not only price, and also the taste and quality is important considering about the spread of Japanese ramen.
After this, we held a hearing survey in Japanese ramen restaurant and we researched the imports of main products at local supermarket and luxury supermarket. In order to this survey, we could get a real voice of local people. Through this hearing survey at Japanese ramen restaurant, we knew that local people are satisfied with this high price and already many local people often eat a Japanese ramen. Furthermore, in many ramen restaurants, they already use foreign product. And, if we increase a profit of ramen restaurant, we should improve the degree of recognition than reducing the price of ramen. In addition to this, in the research at supermarket, we understood that many product is imported from other country. And, many of imports is from Malaysia, Thailand and Chinese. But, some product is produced in Singapore. For example, eggs. Through this research, we knew that many Singapore people don’t care so much about where is this product from. And in luxury supermarket such as Isetan or Takashimaya, we can buy Japanese products, but almost of them is very expensive. Maybe, some of them are twice as expensive as Japanese price. Despite of high price, Singapore rich people buy Japanese products. So, they don’t have any complain to the high price of Japanese products. Finally, we understand we don’t have to reduce the price of ramen and ramen is already common food among Singapore people. So, if we want to increase a profit of Japanese ramen restaurant, we should think how to promote to many Singapore people.