I think because the fact that most of these sauce packets are sold in one and two person serving, they are aiming at a younger or even a much older market of either singles or couples. It is pretty much a convenient food for those who don't feel like cooking. If you are only cooking for one, it is much cheaper (and easier clean up as well)to pick up this packaged uni sauce than to go the store for fresh uni and cream and half most of it left over.
yep you are exactly right and I'm one of those people who cooks for one.
I noticed these (or similar) expensive prepared pasta sauces at Uwajimaya recently. I was wondering who might buy them... I couldn't imagine people as nostalgiac for packaged pseudo-Italian Japanese pasta sauces as I could for curry roux or the like.
Many Japanese companies don't offer very good pricing for export, sometimes treating even large companies like JFC/Nishimoto as nothing more than ordinary retailers, even for large volumes. Since the products also need to be distributed and sometimes brokered, it's not too surprising to see products costing about 3 times the Japanese retail price... 2 times the original price is sometimes a bare minimum unless the manufacturer offers better discounts.
Granted, most of the upscale Italian-focused specialty shops have $4 and $5 ready-to-heat pasta sauces, but they're usually fresh and often not bad.
I'm a bit at a loss, though... do any Japanese consider such prepared pasta sauces important for making pasta? Somehow, prepared curry roux managed to become indispensible, even though it's not hard to make a brown roux and not hard to add spices to it, but I think it's because of perceived value: the ingredients are not sold separately and cheaply (namely, the spices) in that case.
However, a little cream and a little uni and a little salt, in the quantities used in such packages, shouldn't be that much of an expense. A small package of cream, more than twice what you'd need, is about 300 yen, and I'm sure you could occasionally find 20 grams of uni on special at a supermarket for 300 yen.
A roux will deteriorate less when packaged than retort packed uni. I find it hard to imagine that the flavor would be special without resorting to various flavoring additives.
I don't know where I'm going to get uni (I bet its in the refridgerated section at the grocery store). Believe it or not the japanese grocery store I go to is incredibly small and really lacking in alot of ingredients. I also don't know how to prepare it at all so I will leave it up to the fine people at nippn. I assume that you just eat it as is, but still the japanese pasta sauce is cheaper, more efficient, and MOST importantly lasts a long time.
If I bought uni, I'd have to use it like within a day or so. I've had this sauce packet for over a week now and its nice that I can eat pasta whenever I want to. I guess that's the most important thing to me.
you should try the pasta sauce, its really not that bad. Although after eating pasta + the sauce, I feel like I just ate a stick of butter...it was soooo rich