Both firms said that their infant milk products were modelled closely on human breast milk.
Meiji will be launching the liquid infant formula in steel cans, with a capacity of 240ml per can, while Ezaki Glico will be selling the product in carton packs, with a capacity of 125ml per pack.
Commenting on the product packaging, Meiji explained that steel cans were adopted to facilitate product stockpiling.
“In accordance with the disaster stockpile, we adopt steel cans with strong robustness in containers and manufacture them at our domestic plants,” the firm said in a press release.
Besides packaging and capacity, the two products also differ in terms of shelf life, with Meiji’s lasting for a longer period of one year, and six months for Ezaki Glico.
The products will be released as early as this spring, local media Jiji Press reported.
Liquid infant formula products were not permitted for production in Japan previously due to the absence of government safety standards.
However, in the wake of a string of earthquakes and other natural disasters, Japan’s health ministry revised an ordinance to permit the production and sale of liquid infant formula last year, since liquid milk could act as a convenient and safe nutrition alternative for infants during disasters.
NutraIngredients-Asia reported in August last year that Meiji and Morinaga Milk were two companies that have expressed interest in the liquid infant formula market. At that point of time, Meiji also revealed that it was already at the product development stage.
Meiji has listed three future initiatives for its liquid infant formula portfolio, including registering the product as a Food for Special Dietary Dietary Uses (FOSDU) product, which is under the purview of Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency.
It will also conduct consumer education to help consumers “better understand the characteristics and usage of liquid infant formula”, since the Japanese consumers may not be familiar with the product concept.
As for product stockpiling, it will collaborate with public institutions at the prefecture and municipality levels to educate the public on ways to prepare infant food in the event of disasters.
“We also think that preparation for disaster is important at home, thus, we will promote the importance of product stockpiling at home,” the firm said.
The firm also reiterated its “Corporate Social Responsibility 2026 Vision” along with the announcement on infant milk, including contributing to the health of the body, harmony with the environment and creating a rich society.