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Where There Are Asians, There Are Rice CookersHow “National” Went Global via Hong Kong$
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Yoshiko Nakano

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9789888028085

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888028085.001.0001

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Only They Would Know

Only They Would Know

Globalizing Rice Cookers through Local Insight

(p.153) 7 Only They Would Know
Where There Are Asians, There Are Rice Cookers

Yoshiko Nakano

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter discusses how the National/Panasonic rice cooker team applied the interactive approach to localization that it established with William Mong in Hong Kong to other markets worldwide. As early as 1967, the team developed a model for Iran with the help of an Iranian taste advisor. The team stuck to the deceptively simple principle of asking local distributors and consumers for their input, respecting local tastes, and even embracing the highly creative uses the rice cooker has sometimes been put to. In 2001, the team went beyond just listening to local opinion and it hired two Thai “rice ladies,” who were given free rein to develop localized models. They went on to create a rice cooker that incorporates a cake-baking function.

Keywords:   National, Panasonic, rice cooker, Iran, rice ladies, cake-baking function

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