NARA - With its burgundy hue, the newly developed Yamato Rouge sweet corn has been all over social media, and those at the company couldn't be more excited.
Yamato Noen Co. has been studying and developing crop seeds for more than 100 years, and its new red sweet corn has been growing in farms nationwide starting this year.
Some comments on X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram include, "It has a beautiful color, and it smells good, too" and "It looks like a precious jewel."
The deep red color, which is only on the surface of the kernels, comes from anthocyanin, a pigment that produces blues and reds in plants.
Yamato Rouge can also be harvested twice a year - in summer and autumn - unlike standard sweet corn.
According to Kumi Kaneko of Yamato Noen's product development department, the company decided to develop the red sweet corn about five years ago. The red coloring brightens up the dining table, whets a person's appetite and is even said to give them more energy.
"We wanted to develop something that makes people smile as soon as they shuck it," said Kaneko, 46.
The company faced such as drought and torrential rain in the years it began to grow the corn. But by October 2022, the company was able to start selling seeds.
Yamato Rouge garnered attention even before the seeds went on sale. When Yamato Noen posted a picture of its red sweet corn on Instagram for the first time in spring 2022, farmers started contacting the company. In the end, Yamato Noen decided that about 100 farmers should grow the corn on a trial basis. The farmers put out reports on how they grew it, leading to information about Yamato Rouge spreading far and wide.
As a result, some municipalities have begun growing red sweet corn to revitalize the community.
"I hope Yamato Rouge will continue to make many people smile," Kaneko said.