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Best of Hokkaido Milk: 5 Kinds of Locally Produced Dairy Products!

Best of Hokkaido Milk: 5 Kinds of Locally Produced Dairy Products!

Date published: 3 September 2020
Last updated: 7 October 2020

Of course, most of the milk you see in Hokkaido is locally produced and is fresh and delicious. Here are some recommended Hokkaido dairy products from local manufacturers you'll definitely want to try when you come to Hokkaido!

Table of Contents
  1. High-quality milk is synonymous with Hokkaido!
  2. 1. Betsukai Milk Shop-san (Betsukai Nyugyo Kousha)
  3. 2. Specialty Yotsuba Milk (Yotsuba Milk Products Co., Ltd.)
  4. 3. Snow Brand Milk (Megmilk Snow Brand Co., Ltd.)
  5. 4. Secoma Hokkaido Milk (Secoma Group)
  6. 5. Hakodate Milk (Hakodate Dairy Corporation Co., Ltd.)
  7. Taste-testing Hokkaido Milk!
  8. Betsukai Milk Shop-san
  9. Specialty Yotsuba Milk
  10. Snow Brand Milk
  11. Secoma Hokkaido Milk
  12. Hakodate Milk
  13. Milk from Hokkaido manufacturers is rich in individuality

High-quality milk is synonymous with Hokkaido!

High-quality milk is synonymous with Hokkaido!

Hokkaido is a "dairy kingdom" that produces about 4 million tons of milk each year -- 55% of Japan's annual production of 7.3 million tons (FY2018 "Milk Dairy Products Statistics," Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Statistics Department).

For dairy cows, who like a cooler climate, Hokkaido's vast fields are a paradise and top quality milk is produced by the tireless efforts of the dairy workers.

1. Betsukai Milk Shop-san (Betsukai Nyugyo Kousha)

1. Betsukai Milk Shop-san (Betsukai Nyugyo Kousha)

■ Milk: Betsukai Nyugyo Kousha’s “Betsukai Milk Shop-san”
The town of Betsukai is located in eastern Hokkaido, between the Nemuro and Shiretoko peninsulas. With its wide-open spaces and cool climate, the region's 100,000 dairy cows form the highest concentration in Japan and produce the country's greatest volume of milk.

Betsukai Milk is a "milk shop for townspeople" that produces milk, cheese, and other dairy goods. The standard "Betsukai Milk Shop-san" is sterilized at a relatively low temperature of 90°C for 30 seconds, so you can enjoy a refreshing taste that is very close to that of fresh unprocessed milk. In addition to cartons, it can also be found packaged in triangular Tetra Paks (180ml), but they are rare.

● Pricing varies
● Available at Coop Sapporo Betsukai, Fukuhara, A-Coop, Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza, New Chitose Airport, etc.

Another recommendation!

■ Milk drink with coffee: "Betsukai Coffee Shop-san" is "Betsukai Milk Shop-san" with a strong coffee flavor added. It's moderately sweet with a refreshing aftertaste.

● Pricing varies
● Available at Coop Sapporo Betsukai, Fukuhara, A-Coop, Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza, New Chitose Airport, etc.

Betsukai Nyugyo Kousha
TEL: 0153-75-2160
http://betsukai-milk.com/

2. Specialty Yotsuba Milk (Yotsuba Milk Products Co., Ltd.)

2. Specialty Yotsuba Milk (Yotsuba Milk Products Co., Ltd.)

■ Milk: “Specialty Yotsuba Milk” from Yotsuba Milk Products Co., Ltd.
Yotsuba Milk Products Co., Ltd. was established in 1967 by eight agricultural cooperatives in the Tokachi area. Not only is it familiar to Hokkaido residents, but it's also a major manufacturer of commercial dairy products, boasting a 25% share of the national market.

The main product, Specialty Yotsuba Milk, features a wide-mouthed cap for easy opening, pouring, and resealing. Specialty Yotsuba Milk uses only raw milk from Tokachi, which has excellent quality, and meets special criteria set by the National Council for Fair Trade in Drinking Milk.

● Online shop price: 1000ml, 295 yen (excluding tax)
● Available at supermarkets, department stores, etc. nationwide and Yotsuba Milk Products Co., Ltd. online shop: <@https://www.yotsuba-shop.com/|a=https://www.yotsuba-shop.com/>

Another recommendation!

■ Yogurt: “Yotsuba Nomu Yogurt,” plain, 250g
The only ingredients are non-fat concentrated milk, sugar, and cream. The milk is 100% Hokkaido-made and no fragrance is added. It's simple and delicious! The yogurt has a thick, rich texture and comes in a handy paper carton that is slim, easy to hold, and resealable.

● Online shop price: 250g, 160 yen (excluding tax)
● Available at supermarkets, department stores, etc. nationwide and Yotsuba Milk Products Co., Ltd. online shop: https://www.yotsuba-shop.com/

Yotsuba Milk Products Co., Ltd. Customer Support Office
TEL: 0120-428-841 Mon. - Fri. 9:00 - 17:00
http://www.yotsuba.co.jp/

3. Snow Brand Milk (Megmilk Snow Brand Co., Ltd.)

3. Snow Brand Milk (Megmilk Snow Brand Co., Ltd.)

■ Milk: Megmilk Snow Brand Co., Ltd.’s “Snow Brand Milk”
Megmilk Snow Brand is one of the three largest dairy manufacturers in Japan, and has a long history. Founded in Hokkaido in 1925, it now sells milk, butter, cheese, and yogurt nationwide, and easily recognized by its famous snowflake logo. This particular variety of Snow Brand Milk is manufactured at the Megmilk Snow Brand Sapporo Factory and is sold only in Hokkaido, with the "Blue Pack" maintaining its popularity for many years.

● Pricing varies
● Available at some Hokkaido supermarkets such as Lucky and Coop Sapporo.

Another recommendation!

■ Cheese: “Snow Brand Hokkaido 100 Sakeru Cheese”
Made from 100% Hokkaido milk, this string cheese has a chewy texture. As you chew it the flavor will delight your taste buds. It's perfect as a snack or with drinks.

● Price: 50g (2 tubes, 25g each), 220 yen (excluding tax)
● Available at supermarkets throughout Hokkaido

Megmilk Snow Brand Co., Ltd. Customer Center
TEL: 0120-301-369 10:00 - 17:00 (open all year round)
https://www.meg-snow.com/

4. Secoma Hokkaido Milk (Secoma Group)

4. Secoma Hokkaido Milk (Secoma Group)

■ Milk: “Secoma Hokkaido Milk” (1L) produced by Secoma Group
Established in 1971 and familiar to local residents, Seico Mart boasts the largest number of convenience stores in Hokkaido. It also sells a wide variety of branded products, with milk and dairy products among them. "Secoma Hokkaido Milk" is sourced from Toyotomi, Hokkaido, and is characterized by its original flavor and deep richness.

● Price: Hokkaido, 193 yen; Ibaraki & Saitama, 198 yen (all excluding tax)
● Available at Seiko Mart, Hamanasu Club, Hasegawa Store, and Taiei stores

Another recommendation!

■ Yogurt: “Secoma Hokkaido Toyotomi 95% Raw Milk Yogurt” (180g)
Made at the Secoma Group's yogurt factory, the only ingredients in this product are milk produced in Toyotomi and sugar, allowing consumers to enjoy its rich milk flavor.

● Price: Hokkaido, 135 yen; Ibaraki & Saitama, 138 yen (all excluding tax)
● Available at Seiko Mart, Hamanasu Club, Hasegawa Store, and Taiei stores

Seico Mart Customer Service Office
TEL: 0120-89-8551 Mon. – Sat. 9:00 - 17:00
https://www.seicomart.co.jp/index.html

5. Hakodate Milk (Hakodate Dairy Corporation Co., Ltd.)

5. Hakodate Milk (Hakodate Dairy Corporation Co., Ltd.)

■ Milk: “Hakodate Milk” (1000ml) from Hakodate Dairy Corporation Co., Ltd.
Founded in Hakodate in 1973, this dairy manufacturer has deep roots in the local community. "Hakodate Milk," in its recognizable orange carton, has been sold by the company since its inception. If you're from Southern Hokkaido, this delicious product will come to mind whenever you think of milk.

● Price: 1000ml, 242 yen (excluding tax)
● Available at Hakodate area retailers, Hakodate Dairy Corporation mobile sales vehicles, Marui Imai, and Sapporo area retailers, etc.

Another recommendation!

■ Milk: “Hakodate Dairy Corporation Milk” (1000ml)
This milk comes only from a contracted dairy farm in Yakumo, the birthplace of Hokkaido dairy farming. The feed given to the cows uses non-genetically modified grain that has not been sprayed with pesticides, making it a safe and natural.

● Price: 1000ml, 250 yen (excluding tax)
● Available at Hakodate area retailers, Hakodate Dairy Corporation mobile sales vehicles, Marui Imai, and Sapporo area retailers, etc.

Hakodate Dairy Corporation Co., Ltd.
TEL: 0138-58-4460 Mon. – Fri. 9:00 - 16:00
https://www.e-milk.co.jp/

Taste-testing Hokkaido Milk!

How does each manufacturer's standard product taste? Here are some thoughts!

Betsukai Milk Shop-san

Betsukai Milk Shop-san

"It has a very light and non-persistent taste, but is full-bodied and refreshing with no aftertaste. It delicious not only chilled, but also at room temperature, which brings out its body. The cute illustrations on the package draw attention on the shelf and the old-fashioned triangular pack is convenient for drinking."

Specialty Yotsuba Milk

Specialty Yotsuba Milk

"The moment you drink it, you'll feel the richness, which will fill your mouth. The body is balanced and smooth, and because it's light, it's especially drinkable in the morning. The wide screw cap is unique to Special Yotsuba Milk, making it easy to pour."

Snow Brand Milk

Snow Brand Milk

"It has a slightly creamy, iced milk-like taste and a rich flavor. When combined with coffee brewed a bit stronger, it makes a delicious café au lait. The nationally available Megmilk packaging is currently red, but in Hokkaido, this blue package has always been a familiar standard. When you see it on the shelf, you'll feel nostalgic."

Secoma Hokkaido Milk

Secoma Hokkaido Milk

"It's light with a slightly creamy taste and is excellent when drunk very cold on a hot day. Because Seico Mart is found throughout Hokkaido, you can buy it anytime you want to drink milk or when you run out at home."

Hakodate Milk

Hakodate Milk

"The taste is very good, and I thought it tasted like refreshing soft-serve ice cream. It has a moderate richness and is delicious served cold or hot. Even when heated, there's no aftertaste. The package design is nostalgic, with the silhouette of Hakodate and the orange color reminiscent of Japan."

Milk from Hokkaido manufacturers is rich in individuality

Each kind of milk produced by Hokkaido manufacturers has its own unique charm. Truly fresh milk can only be sampled when you visit Hokkaido and the many varieties can be purchased at supermarkets, convenience stores, department stores, souvenir shops, and other places you encounter during your trip. Why not try as many different types as you can!

Text by: Minna no Kotobasha
*Article contents are from September 2020

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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