Multicultural treats

Multicultural treats
Sreenivas Panikkan, Managing Director (right), and Dhil Sreenivas, Director

Deans Fujiya Supermarket brings Japanese goodies into the UAE. Excerpts from an interview with managing director Sreenivas Panikkan and director Dhil Sreenivas



Published: Mon 21 Oct 2019, 12:46 PM

Last updated: Tue 22 Oct 2019, 1:02 PM

 Before the inception of Deans Fujiya Supermarket, it would be appropriate to mention that the whole concept first evolved from our wholesale trading business, which solely focused on Japanese food since 1989.
As the UAE grew, along with the need for more Japanese foods, we had noticed a rising demand in daily enquiries for Japanese non-food items, which included tables and kitchenware for hotels/restaurants and for personal use.
So, the next best option was to have an outlet where we could showcase our products to concerned departments of various hotels that we were already supplying to, and to any new ventures that required our products.
It was then that we realised that a majority of Japanese expatriates in the UAE were visiting our supermarket to purchase goods that were difficult to source or bring in. This paved the way for us to bring in more retail-based goods for the community.
Supermarket appeal
The appeal of the supermarket is to be 100 per cent Japan-focused in terms of products. We do carry some products of American, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese origin (which we state are produced under Japanese quality standards) but that constitutes to less than 1 per cent of our portfolio; 99 per cent of items sold are directly sourced from Japan.
Our supermarket focuses primarily on quality, and we think that goods from Japan are synonymous with some of the best items in the world in terms of quality of product. Japanese goods often work as the benchmark for high quality, and we are proud to provide such goods to the people of the UAE. The motto for the Deans Group is to always to be on the top to provide quality goods and services.
Health benefits of Japanese food 
Studies show that the Japanese are at reduced risk of life-threatening diseases, and many researchers study the longevity of the Japanese population. The main reason behind this is attributed to Japanese food, so incorporating its dishes into our diet would be extremely beneficial. 
A good example of this would that the latest diet fad, the Keto diet, which encourages the use of shirataki noodles (a popular Japanese noodle made from yams) as a substitute for various stir-fry dishes. The noodles themselves are a zero-calorie item and is favoured by most in this diet plan, and by those looking to reduce their caloric intake. 
Popular items 
Most popular products for the Japanese and other nationalities are wheat flour (tempura batter mix), horseradish paste and powder (wasabi paste and powder), roasted seaweed sheets (sushinori - mainly used for sushi), sesame-flavoured dressings, rice vinegar, unsalted citrus juice (yuzu juice) for seasoning, and ramen noodles. In terms of rice, Japanese rice brands are very popular, and we carry the Akita Komachi and Koshihikari short grain rice.
In addition to the above, there are many popular snack items such as the matcha Kit Kat, strawberry Kit Kat, mochi ice cream, and much more.
Further expansion in the UAE
We would like to expand our brand within the UAE, as we see a good scope for Japanese foods and non-food items in the region, and a very receptive public for the same.
We are proud to say that we consider our supermarket to be a unique star in the map of Dubai with our exclusive Japanese supermarket.

Sreenivas Panikkan and Dhil Sreenivas with the staff of Deans Fujiya supermarket
Sreenivas Panikkan and Dhil Sreenivas with the staff of Deans Fujiya supermarket
Deans Fujiya supermarket - Oud Metha Dubai, is a popular destination for Japanese goods
Deans Fujiya supermarket - Oud Metha Dubai, is a popular destination for Japanese goods

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