- Bokksu, a New York- and Tokyo-based Japanese snack subscription service, launched an online grocery market on Monday that ships to the contiguous United States, according to an emailed press release.
- Bokksu Grocery offers more than 300 Asian food products, including premium instant noodles, condiments like Kewpie mayo, and drinks and snacks commonly found in Japanese convenience stores and vending machines.
- The announcement marks the latest Asian online e-grocery offering for U.S. consumers to have launched this year.
Bokksu, which started out offering Japanese snacks, beverages and other products, is setting its sights on the broader marketplace of Asian groceries.
Bokksu Grocery sells snacks, beverages, dry goods like rice and dry noodles and pantry items, including kitchenware, sauces, spices, preserved fish and vegetables, instant soup and more. The service has a $30 order minimum and offers free shipping on orders over $59. The orders are shipped from the New York metropolitan area, with overnight and ground shipping offered.
Founder and CEO Danny Taing said in the announcement that the online grocery marketplace stemmed from his desire to make Asian groceries and cooking more accessible.
“I fondly remember childhood trips to the Asian grocery store with my parents, where we’d stock up on the sauces, snacks, and pantry items that could only be found there. But the drive to and from took hours, and after I grew up, I had no idea what to buy if my parents weren’t with me,” he said.
To that end, each product has a description detailing where it came from, how to prepare it and what it pairs well with. The website also has recipes and cooking videos.
Founded in 2015, Bokksu works with snack makers in Japan to offer curated subscription boxes to shoppers in more than 100 countries. In 2018, the company launched Bokksu Market to sell snacks that are also available in the boxes.
Before starting Bokksu, Taing worked on business development at Rakuten and as an AdWords account strategist at Google, per his LinkedIn.
Other Asian e-grocery services have debuted this year, expanding the availability of Asian food products to U.S. consumers. This summer, South Asian food marketplace Quicklly launched a subscription box with organic Indian grocery items. In March, Asian e-grocer Umamicart started up in the New York metro area and Mid-Atlantic region with next-day delivery.
Brick-and-mortar grocer H Mart, meanwhile, is turning to automated micro-fulfillment technology to ramp up its online grocery operations, while Weee, which sells Asian and Hispanic groceries, has been expanding its U.S. presence following a $315 million funding round announced in March, recently bringing its service to San Antonio.