Big Changes are Here – A Letter from the CEO

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Konnichiwa and Hello!

I’m Hank, founder and CEO of Japan Crate. When we started a year and a half ago, we had no idea this would grow as quickly as it did.  Through your support, excitement, and enthusiasm, we grew from a 2-person operation shipping crates from our apartment, to a full scale team shipping tens of thousands of crates every month.  We truly couldn’t have done it without you!

We’ve been listening every step of the way. I make it a priority to read every post on our blog/social media, and I’m constantly searching through #japancrate hashtags to see what our family has to say about their crates.  You’ve given us amazing feedback, great advice and criticism–words that inspire us to continuously improve our product and service.

That being said, we’re beyond excited to announce some big changes we’re launching for Japan Crate:

 



Bigger Crates, More Candy, Same Price

evolvedOne of our main focuses at Japan Crate is the experience of unboxing a Japan Crate–that feeling of bewilderment and joy you get unpacking a crate of colorful candy, almost exploding out the moment you open it was something we wanted to preserve forever.  However, we quickly realized that sometimes the candies we want to include each month just don’t fit.

We won’t let such a silly thing stop us from sharing those items, so we’ve completely redesigned our Mini, Original and Premium crates to fit as much candy, snacks and drinks as possible.  We’re also going to increase the number of items in each crate; this way you get the best value possible, and can try as many goodies as possible. For Mini, the quantity will stay the same but the size of the Mini crate is increasing to allow for larger, higher quality items. The best part – the bigger, redesigned crates start shipping in just a few weeks with May’s crates!

The new item structure will be as follows:

  • Mini – 5 items
  • Original – 10 items
  • Premium – 15 items

The cost will stay the same for you, we wanted to do something to say thank you for being such an amazing community!  We’re excited by the potential that the increased box size and item count gives us, and can’t wait to share larger items with you in the near future!

 

New Brand Partnerships and Exclusive Japanese Candy

We receive a ton of awesome feedback on what you’d like to see in future crates, and we’re proud to announce that we’ll soon be including some really cool items you can only find in Japan from brands that you know, but with a Japanese twist.

Items that we’re currently working to get include:

  • Kit Kat Flavors beyond green tea
  • Japan-exclusive sodas from Pepsi, Coke, and Fanta
  • Japanese flavored snacks from Doritos, Cheetos, and Lays
  • Small batch candy/snacks from localized regions in Japan
  • Much much more!

Not only will we be providing more items in future crates, we’re making sure they’re going to be better items.  We’re working with some of Japan’s top candy manufacturers to offer Japan Crate exclusive items in the near future, so please keep your eyes out for updates.

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 3.49.05 PMFor Premium subscribers: We’re also working on improving your revolving bonus item to include licensed merchandise from some of Japan’s most famous characters (Zelda, Pokemon, etc.), and we can’t wait to bring you these hard to find bonus items.

 

We’ve also secured new partnerships for Doki Doki Crate to include only licensed merchandise from your favorite shows and franchises. These partnerships include Hoppe Chan maker Sun Hoseki, AMUSE, Hatsune Miku, Neko Atsume, San-X, Viz Media, and more!

 

Better Planning, Shipping, Support 

new how it works coloredI know that we’ve had trouble over the past few months hitting our target ship date for all crates–there was a delay in January and again in March. Despite being elements outside of our control over at the ports, it’s our responsibility to plan better, and for that we’re very sorry.  We really dropped the ball, and know it’s completely unacceptable to miss projected ship dates, especially when we know how excited you are to receive your crates.

We’ve now made sure delays are a thing of the past.
  We have worked out an in depth
planning and shipping cycle to receive our crate contents from Japan a full 30-60 days before we ship them to you.  This allows us to counter any potential delays, and ensure crates always ship on time. You can rest assured that you’ll receive your crates on time, every time.


Partnering with a New Shipping Provider

One of the biggest frustrations we hear from subscribers is with our current shipping company.  Subscribers have trouble with shipping notifications, tracking, and even broken/lost packages.  We decided to break away from having USPS ship our products, and instead have partnered with a new logistics company to improve our shipping as a whole.

We’ve partnered with Newgistics to handle all future shipments.  They work with some of the biggest subscription box companies, and we’re now working with them for all Domestic shipments.  This will give you the most accurate tracking details and allow you to receive your package in the best condition possible.

 

Improved Website and Subscription Management + Rewards Program

We’ll be updating our website to include our new updates, and we’re working on ways for you to better handle your subscription. In addition, we’re testing out features that will be releasing soon!

Website additions include:

  • Refer a friend program to get you free crates (under construction)
  • Loyalty program (under construction)
  • On site forum & trading post

All of these changes were made with you in mind to make your experience the best it can be. We want to provide you with the best way to experience the fun of Japan from home, and we’re always looking for new ways to do so.

As always, if you have any feedback, questions or concerns – or just want to say hi, shoot us a message at [email protected] and we’d be happy to hear from you.

May’s crate is the first to feature the larger crate designs, get one here if you haven’t already!

Thank you,
Hank Rao, Founder

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47 Comments
  1. I’d love it if July’s box was Pokemon themed. I love Pikachu and I wish I could get a plush one in one of the boxes. But I’m glad to see you guys are trying to make things better.

  2. I would love to have a way to purchase some of the candies in the Japan Crates, One of my favorites were the frog gummys and I’ve been looking all over for them and cant find them. Could you please try to make it possible to buy individual candy please?

    1. Cammie you should check eBay and Etsy. They have a ton of hard to find Japanese candies there.

  3. Thank you so much you don’t know what this means for my household, when I ordered our first crate I ordered two because there is six people in my home sharing it lol lots of hungry kids. I look forward to ordering more crate through you thank you again.

  4. Thanks for everything! The crates are like a little adventure each month. Can’t wait to see the new ones. You guys rock!

  5. When will these changes take effect? Should we expect bigger box for may? Thanks for making improvements! 🙂

  6. This is just so cool. Only been getting Japan Crate for a few months but as long as this service remains so dedicated to quality customer service and unique treats I will continue to renew my Premium Crate and tell everyone I know how awesome you are. Thank you!

  7. I’m so excited! Another thing that would be cool for you guys to do is to sell past crates as well as your current month crate. That way people can re-order their favorite crate or can order a crate that they weren’t able to get because of financial issues before. That would be awesome!!!

  8. I’ve never heard of the new shipping company you’ve decided to go with but I’ll say anything is better then USPS. They are very unprofessional & lazy… At least over here, & I know many other areas & people have bad things to say about them as well. I hope this new company actually attempts to deliver & not lose deliveries… Other then that, I’m excited about the other changes, especially the no more delays, new items, bigger crates & same costs! Also pokemon woo!

  9. Great looking forward to the Japanese flavored American products. Can we get some Ramen? Can’t wait to re-subscribe

  10. Would like to see a way to upgrade a crate for just one month. I currently have a Mini sub, but wouldn’t mind being able to say one month, “I want a premium this month” and pay a little extra, without changing the sub type. Keep up the great work!

  11. I was going to unsuscribe this month but after I got this e-mail I think I will stick around. It is nice to see us getting the more japanese type flavors that arent already in the us LIke the crazy kit kats and soda ( I hope you guys can get the sakura Pepsi because that would be awesome)

    1. I was going to stop subscribing, due to all of the delays and such, but this is motivating me to stay with you guys for at least another month!!!!! 🙂 So happy!!!

    2. Same here. I got a upgraded from month-month to getting a 3-month, and was worried because I was a tad disappointed with my first of 3 boxes. Hopefully the next 2 will be better. They were great Jan/Feb.

  12. I’m so excited about the larger items and different brands you’re working on for the new crates. I think the customer service and communications related to the shipping issues went a long way to preserve trust and loyalty to the company. I’m looking forward to my next crate!

  13. We look forward to Japan Crate every month. It’s a fun way to spend time with my daughter. We open the box together and try the candy together. Keep up the great work and we look forward to new goodies. 🙂

  14. Phew, I am so glad to hear this. I was considering canceling my subscription due to all the delays and feeling like after subscribing since the beginning that I’ve had it all and now just expect repeat candy and non licensed bonuses and drinks that could be way better like pepsi coke Fanta. Well the news fixes everything I was worried about. Now I’ll get more and better drinks better and new candies and better licanced bonus items. That’s what I want to subscribe to. I’m glad I stuck around through the recent hardships. The only concern I’m left with is the way the fix was done for preventing late shipments. Getting our boxes ready 1-2 months ahead of time make me worry about expiration. The dates on items in most packages are usually only a month or 2 away from the date on the package. If it’s held for 2 months then shipped will we find a lot of expired products? Hopefully that’s been thought of and they will prevent sending us expired things. I know I’m sticking around to see the bigger better improved japan crate. I look forward to the new sodas and new selection of chips and candies and licanced bonus items. This news…..made my day!

  15. does this still mean that we will be getting out extra bonus item for mays create mentioned it last email?? i would love to know thank you

  16. I think the new changes will be great. Thank you for thinking about us. Love the goodies, but alas I have one minor problem. I live in Texas . the weather here is very warm, to say the least, is there any way y’all could find a way to keep the chocolate candies cooler so that those of us in warmer climes could get more than a chocolate mess to try? Either way my first crate was a delight. Once again, thank you for all your hard work!!!!!¡

  17. Love Japan Crate! We’ve been with you all since just about the beginning and love the surprises each month. We decided to switch things up and try Doki Doki this month. If we like it, we’ll likely do both. Would be great if there was some sort of bonus for subscribing to both crates. 🙂

  18. AWESOME!
    We are so happy we got to be a part of the Japan Crate family and look forward to the shipments every month. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

  19. Looking for to seeing these improvements! I’ve unsubscribed a couple times but I came back because I love that you always REALLY think of us, the customers. You guys are amazing, keep it up✌?

  20. I am soo happy! I love Japan Crate and you guys are totally making it worth it! Thank you guys for being amazing! I really look forward to the new partnerships. Totally stoked for my May crate!

  21. Awesome work japan crate!! I think another great feature would be to show us what would be included and give us options to switch out some candies that we may not prefer for different candies or snacks that we do :3

    1. I second this! Overall I enjoy the crates but it sucks to get a type of candy you despise when there were other possibilities you would have liked.

  22. How exciting! I’m loving all the work you guys do for us and can’t wait to see the changes! ^=^

  23. That’s great news! I’ve been A JC customer for a year now and I have no plans to stop. It’s been pretty cool to watch this company grow and change. I look forward to each and every crate. My cats also love the boxes.

  24. This is SO GREAT!
    As a subscriber for the premium crate, I share my crate with 3 other people in what we like to call our monthly “box-party”. We’ve been subscribers almos since the begin of Japan Crate’s launch, and we’ve been nothing but pleased every month. Now you’re stepping up the game by giving us BIGGER boxes and stuffing them with bigger and better stuff?! Japan Crate, you spoil us!!!
    Arigatou gozaimasu!

  25. That’s great news!
    Hmm… There’s not much to be changed anymore. You guys are doing your very best to bring us authentic Japanese snacks monthly and efficiently, and doing an awesome job of it. Kudos!

  26. Yay! Excited for the new and improved system! Looking forward to loving Japan Crate even more than I already do. ^_^

  27. I’m so glad y’all are partnering up with Newgistics rather than USPS! Newgistics takes care of the packages they deliver, unlike USPS, and their tracking is much easier and updates more often than USPS! I’m eager to get May’s crate now with the changes, and I can’t wait to see all the new planned goodies and revolving items in the Premium Crate.

  28. It’s great to see that you guys are trying your best to improve. It would be nice to have the option to individually buy items from previous crates, it’s such a shame that I get to try something once, fall in love with it and then never get it in another crate or get to try it again. However its just a thought. You’re the greatest Japan Crate Team!