Introducing Freedom Japanese Market – A Mammoth Subscription Box

Introducing Freedom Japanese Market – A Mammoth Subscription Box

0 comments 📅21 May 2016, 19:01

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There is no hiding that any anime, manga, Japanese or Korean culture fans all want that little slice of their favourite country from the comfort of their own home, and it seems that subscription boxes are fulfilling that. But what subscription box is worth its weight in gold? How can you find the right subscription box for you?

I was lucky enough to talk to the people behind the Japanese subscription snack box Freedom Japanese Market, who supply a whole host of goodies in different sizes to see what it takes to create a successful subscription box from another country. Sanae and Kenneth Havens live in Ibaraki, in Japan (Kanto region, about 100km north of Tokyo), with their 5-year-old twins Juliet and Kevin . They all have their very own input to the subscription boxes that their customers receive.

When I asked what inspired them to start their subscription service, Kenneth replied, “Sanae and I have supplied our friends with Japanese candy for many years. These friends told us that when they moved home after living in Japan, they did not have access to the Japanese candies and snacks they had grown to love. So when we went on a trip to the U.S. we decided to try some of the “Japanese” snacks sold at a local Asian market and were shocked at both the prices and the snacks themselves.” It turned out that many of the snacks labelled as Japanese weren’t even made in Japan!

“We decided then that we needed to find a way to share all the fun and delicious snacks we loved with the world,” said Kenneth. “Creating a curated subscription box just seemed to be the right answer. We knew we could do a better job bringing real Japanese snacks to the world.”

When curating a subscription box a lot of the providers just think on the basis of pleasing the customer rather than introducing a new culture or etiquette through their item, which can also become very impersonal. When I asked what everyone’s favourite past items were, I was surprised when the family referred back to the lesser known brands as their own favourites. “We are big fans of the mainstream snacks like, Kinoko No Yama, and various flavours of Pocky,” said Kenneth. “But we also really like some of the less well known treats like Shittori Choco and Fettuccine Gummies. Bottom line, if we would not buy it for ourselves, we will not put it in our subscription boxes.”

There was also an air of excitement when we discussed what to expect in next month’s box. “Next month we will finally start branding our boxes,” said Kenneth. “The reason it has taken us so long is that our first priority has always been the snacks in the box. We include mainstream Japanese snacks as well as dagashi, DIY candy kits and even single portion Ramen! We want our clients to look forward to new and exciting treats each and every month.”

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Each box includes a handmade, seasonal handmade origami gift (this is a BIG job each month as they do this by themselves) and an English content sheet with special allergy notes on snacks containing nuts or dairy products.

When I look at everything that is on offer with Freedom Japanese Market there is a long list of great things. One of the key points is their free worldwide shipping – something that you rarely (if ever) see or get. All of the items delivered are shipped freshly from Japan and are in most cases sold exclusively in Japan. Some of their boxes contain some very limited edition snacks and candies that are usually only available in Japanese stores for one or two months. Kenneth noted that “the ‘made for foreign market’ versions of these products sold in most Asian markets are usually made in third party countries, and shipped in container ships to different parts of the world.” Kenneth also boasts that around a pound in weight (13 to 16 candies and snacks) are packed into each box, and that each of the items are only items they themselves would like to eat or receive as gifts.

One of the key things about this subscription box that does separate it from its contenders is the fact you can use PayPal to pay for your items with maximum security. This also gives you a chance to order a subscription box as a gift for others (some companies use these boxes as corporate gifts or thank you packages for hard working employees). Freedom Japanese Market gives you a few options if you decide to subscribe for more than one box. A one-time payment sent out over 3, 6 or 12 months is also available for those with Paypal accounts that do not allow online subscriptions (mainly Germany). As a huge bonus, should you choose to cancel your subscription, you can do so at any time without the fear of any fees or penalties.

The Havens family have been kind enough to place MYMBuzz on their list for us to review one of their boxes, and we will get the review out as soon as possible. The were also kind enough to note that should any of our readers add MYMBuzz to the order notes, you will be able to receive a free bonus candy in your first box. You can subscribe here. In the meantime be sure to pop over to their websiteFacebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagramand Pinterest for latest updates, customer reviews and general Japanese food and culture information.

Be sure to come back to MYMBuzz to see our full review of our subscription box as well. For now, why not check out one of our favourite YouTubers SuperMaryFace and her review of her Freedom Japanese Market box from back in November 2015.

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