Singapore’s Honestbee launches in Japan

Honestbee, the fast-growing on-demand grocery concierge and delivery service company founded in Singapore just last July, has launched its service in Japan.

The first Japan stop of many to come, visiting tourists can now enjoy the convenience of grocery shopping via the online portal honestbee.jp in Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan, from now until February 29.

Honestbee’s point of difference to other online grocery shopping services is that it partners with retailers to offer a high-quality array of products and uses concierge shoppers to fulfil orders on demand – and then deliver them. It expanded into Hong Kong in October, and its next market is Taiwan, where it launches in a fortnight.

“Niseko is one of the most popular ski destinations in the world which sees a great amount of tourist visits every season. While these families look forward to grocery shopping, the closest supermarket in the area is an hour away,” said Joel Sng, co-founder and CEO, Honestbee.

“With technology and software, we plan to offer our customers the same level of convenience they have back home by travelling alongside them. Now they can better spend their time skiing or sipping hot chocolate somewhere else.”

With the launch of this service, ski-lovers and snowboarders can now spend more time skiing on the powdery slopes of Niseko and have their groceries covered by Honestbee.

As the third-largest economy in the world, Japan presents a wealth of opportunities for Honestbee’s expansion. Niseko is a world-renowned region in the Hokkaido prefecture. With the launch of the New Chitose Airport, increased direct flights to Sapporo from neighbouring cities have contributed to the dramatic rise of international tourists to about 1.5 million throughout the year. Foreign investments in properties in the ski areas have also fuelled economic growth in Niseko.

Maintaining its commitment to offering a one-stop shop for a range of highly curated and specialty products, customers in Niseko will be able to shop for the freshest groceries, local Hokkaido and international products at major brands well-loved by the locals.

While the Hokkaido launch may be perceived as something of an experiment or publicity stunt, Honestbee has confirmed it will offer a permanent service in more Japanese cities next year.

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