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Tanita Shokudo at Osaka University

April 25, 2012

This semester started off with a nice surprise. I was about to get some spinach omrice because that’s the only menu at “Sora” cafeteria which doesn’t drive up your energy consumption by 900-1000 kcal like the others and is a tiny bit more healthful than a plain omrice. But when I entered the cafeteria, there was a table and pinboard next to the usual menu display. A poster indicated that this was a campaign by Tanita, so I stepped closer to the table to find out that the cafeteria offers a Tanita set menu which changes weekly.

Tanita had opened its first restaurant in Tokyo in January this year and it was overrun during the first weeks. (Does anybody know the current situation?) Compared to the restaurant where the weekly set menu costs 900 Yen, the set menu at Osaka University is only 500 Yen which is among the highest prices for menus at the cafeteria but still almost half the original price. There’s even a body fat scale and I’ve seen a few people actually using it.

Of course I had to try the Tanita set menu and it was very tasty. In fact it had much more taste than the one I tried in Tokyo. The information on the pinboard says that the menu follows the same principles as the famous cooking books, which are 1) around 500 kcal per set menu, 2) spare use of salt, 3) reduced amount of fat and 4) being filling. But if you read the information on the pinboard closely, you’ll find that Tanita isn’t working alone here. There’s another company cooperating: Mizkan, which produces many basics for Japanese cooking like Mirin, vinegar and various kinds of broth.

Is Mizkan the secret behind the tastiness? But why does the menu at the Tanita Shokudo taste so bland then? Is Mizkan not used there? And I have one more question: How much money does Osaka University get for this campaign? 😉

Anyways, Tanita seems to stay a part of my research and if Tanita continues to publish books with this speed I’ll be broke in no time… Oh, and if somebody knows about other campaigns, cafeterias featuring Tanita products and/or menus I’d be gratefull to hear about it!

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