Innovation Insight: Ajinomoto Toss Sala Salad Dressing Powder
This week, Gama looks at a new format in the salad dressings category targeting busy female professionals – Ajinomoto Toss Sala Salad Dressing Powder.
New to Japanese consumers from Ajinomoto, the seasonings conglomerate, Ajinomoto Toss Sala Salad Dressing Powder is an alternative to traditional liquid salad dressings aimed primarily at the ‘lunch hour’ occasion. The product comes as a blend of dry ingredients including a powder that is said to use unique technology to dissolve instantly, creating a ready-made dressing without the need to add liquid. The particular target for the launch is female professionals, who Ajinomoto says have been looking for solutions that will encourage them to increase their intake of vegetables as part of their daily routine.
Importantly, the packaging and marketing emphasises both fun and convenience. The single-serve pouch is brightly coloured and triangular in shape, encouraging interaction, and the brand’s key slogan – "toss it, mix it, and your ‘deli’ salad is ready” – promotes the idea of a simple ritual that can be incorporated into busy routines.
Away from the benefits of convenience, Ajinomoto Toss Sala again highlights the growing importance of texture as a key consumer concern. As an instant powder that dissolves in the natural ‘juices’ of salad vegetables, or perhaps residual water from washed salad leaves, the product solves the practical problem of excess liquid that can sometimes afflict home-made salads – and the subsequent impact this can have on texture. Beyond this, each mix also contains additional ‘sprinkle’ ingredients designed to increase textural interest: there is a roasted sesame & garlic dressing that contains purple potato chips and crunchy seaweed, an Italian basil flavour with added wholewheat croutons & crunchy almonds, and a mild Kyoto-style yuzu flavour with sea vegetables and crunchy lotus roots.
The concept of Ajinomoto Toss Sala is one that has already struck a chord with consumers in Japan – according to reports, demand for the product outstripped initial supply following its launch earlier in the year. Meanwhile, Kewpie, a rival to Ajinomoto, has also launched its own version of the idea under the brand Irodori. The success of Ajinomoto Toss Sala serves to further underline the extent to which consumers are increasingly valuing crisp and crunchy textures, alongside bold flavours, as an integral part of the overall product experience.