After two years of selling AI Tuna, a buyer describes the changes on the sales floor

ISSUED : 2023.12.18

Shufu no Mise is a supermarket chain with more than ten locations, chiefly in Yamagata Prefecture. Over a roughly two-year period starting in 2021, the chain sold AI Tuna procured using Tuna Scope. Shufu no Mise’s decision to carry the new product was sparked by Tuna Scope’s vision of using the unmatched accuracy of AI assessment to deliver products that customers can purchase with confidence. Despite some initial uncertainty, over time supermarket staff came to notice different reactions from customers. We spoke with local buyer Daisuke Sato about the changes he has seen since the arrival of AI Tuna.

AI-driven purchasing helps cater to customer tastes

For the interview, we visited Shufu no Mise’s Pal store, located in Tsuruoka City along the prefecture’s Sea of Japan coast. Given that seafood is a cherished part of the local character, Sato says “many customers are very particular when it comes to eating great-tasting fish.”

-Did you have any reservations about the new venture of adopting AI for judging quality?

To be honest, part of me questioned how far we should trust an unknown entity like AI.
But then, the vast amounts of data behind the technology inspired confidence, as did its solid reputation from past partnerships with restaurants. And the trust built up with our supplier, Yamagata Maruuo. With all these factors coming together, we decided that it was worth a try despite the risks.

When trying to boost customer satisfaction, naturally you also have the option of purchasing more cheaply and dropping the selling price.
However, taking this direction inevitably leads to complaints and some dissatisfied customers.
Instead, we opted to add greater value to the product itself by incorporating new technology, thereby catering to local customers’ strong preference for taste over price.

AI Tuna eliminates product-related complaints

-How did customer reactions change after the introduction of AI Tuna?

In the past, we inevitably received a few complaints here and there, but in the nearly two years since bringing in AI Tuna we haven’t seen a single complaint.
I believe this is truly a testament to customer trust in the AI.

In fact, one regional characteristic here in Tsuruoka is a preference for sea bream, flounder and other white-meat fish over red-fleshed varieties. Despite that, we’ve started hearing customers ask for more tuna in their assorted sashimi platters. It has been interesting to see it turn into a must-have product.

With nearby water temperatures rising, in recent years we have also started to see tuna caught in the region, and I feel these new initiatives have spurred the gradual spread of tuna within the local culinary culture.

-At the outset, did you expect AI Tuna to continue selling for so long?

Initially, we pictured it as a limited-time offering, a novel initiative that might create some buzz. When the product was launched, however, the reception in terms of quality exceeded our expectations, which is why we have continued for so long.
Generally, we offer the vast majority of our tuna fresh rather than frozen, but I think a key reason for AI Tuna’s popularity among consumers is the product’s consistent supply, with quality and prices largely unaffected by environmental factors.


By bringing advanced AI-driven quality assessments to the products on supermarket shelves, we hope to create a world where everyone can enjoy delicious tuna. This was the vision that motivated our AI Tuna sales efforts. The interview underscored that thanks to a deep understanding and shared sense of purpose among those involved in purchasing and sales, our products continue to be positively received by more customers around the world.