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Report from london-sushi deconstructed

July 31, 2006

Sushi is now so universal that its presence stretches from high-end exclusive restaurants to local grocery stores.

With so much growth, it’s only inevitable that new forms of distribution would emerge.

It looks like sushi is now making its way into the upscale take-out business with stores like Wasabi popping up in London.

At Wasabi, customers select individually wrapped sushi pieces from large refrigerated displays add them to their tray and pay.

What’s interesting about Wasabi and Pret a Manger, the up-scale take out sandwich store, is that they both stress fresh, but you never see the food being made. Customers are forced to use their judgment and trust the store that their items are freshly prepared. This doesn’t seem to be too much of a problem for Londoners, since Pret a Manager stores are now almost as ubiquitous as Starbucks. Pret’s efforts in explaining their concept and customers own experience has laid the foundation for Wasabi to emerge.

Pret’s had problems making its concept understandable to Americans, so perhaps its premature to believe this new sushi concept could take hold over here.

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