Single-serve coffee has been an international sensation, and its success has inspired a Japanese company to create a rapid miso soup dispenser with epicurean add-ons. Campbell's may follow suit.
RocketNews24, a popular news blog in Japan, reported last week that Marukome has designed a single bowl soup dispenser. Marukome bills itself as “Japan’s No. 1 Miso Company,” and sells multiple miso related food products. Those include some existing instant soup containers that don’t require the 9,800-yen (US$95) machine.
The machine’s name translates to “One Shot,” and it even resembles a single-serve coffee maker. Customers can buy from a menu of add-on dehydrated vegetables and seafood to mix with their miso, such as clams, onions, tofu, and several seaweeds. The ingredients are placed into a soup bowl, which the machine fills with hot miso.
Marukome might be inspired by how single-serve coffee has increased profits for coffee producers who are now making more money selling fewer beans. It’s unclear whether the machine delivers less soup than the company’s other instant products; however, it may be making its money selling the add-ons that cost 980 yen and up.
The company has sold a commercial dispenser for commercial and institutional settings. It also sells bulk miso ingredients into the food service industry, so selling the same ingredients as a novelty, and not a commodity, could spell greater profits. It may even want to consider licensing its design.
Separately, Campbell's is has said it is exploring offering k-cup packs for Green Mountain's brewers. The machines would brew over dried soup components, and are self-cleansing, so any coffee won't be tainted.