Editor's Spotlight

Japan Focus: The newest research and innovations from Sapporo, FANCL and Meiji feature in our latest country round-up

By Cheryl Tay

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Japan Probiotics Beverage industry Men's Health Healthy ageing

Read about what Sapporo is up to with its new lab, the beverage categories in hot demand, what FANCL is doing for men's health, Meiji's sports nutrition ambitions, and who will be at our second Healthy Ageing APAC Summit in our latest Japan news round-up.

Sapporo's health focus: Japan firm opens wellness lab firm and reveals study on proprietary bacteria strain

Sapporo Holdings is devoting more resources to its health food business​, with the opening of a wellness lab firm and further studies on its proprietary heat-treated lactic acid bacterial strain SBL 88.

The Sapporo Wellness Lab Limited was established last month with a capital of ¥10m (US$90,000) and is located within the Sapporo Holdings office.

The lab seeks to accelerate the research and development of functional food ingredients, in line with the company's plan to reform its business and expand its functional food portfolio. The R&D team in charge of developing health food has about 15 members.

Functional beverages, fruity beers and speciality coffee quenching Japan's thirst for innovation

Japan is witnessing sustained growth in sales of healthy beverages​ on the back of the ongoing wellness trend, innovative beers in the wake of regulatory changes, and speciality coffees as overseas influences drive preferences.

Following the recent FoodEx show in Japan, we took a look at some of the emerging trends in the nation's beverage sector.

Firstly, healthy drinks and functional products are driving growth in the country's soft drinks market. According to the Nikkei Shimbun, the total size of the soft drink market in 2017 was ¥5.16 trillion (up 0.5% YOY), and in 2018, the market was forecast to hit ¥5.18 trillion (up 0.4% YOY).

Healthy Ageing APAC Summit: Danone, The George Institute for Global Health, ai.agency and the Responsible Nutrition Association of India join line-up

Danone, The George Institute for Global Health, ai.agency and the Responsible Nutrition Association of India have joined the line-up of speakers for the second Healthy Ageing APAC Summit.

The summit, which already features speakers from PepsiCo, Kirin, Nestlé and BioCeuticals / Blackmores (among others), will take place at the Hilton Singapore between July 9 and 11, and will assess nutrition and food solutions to Asia-Pacific's population challenges.

Other confirmed speakers include execs from CBD pioneers Elixinol, clean meat start-up Shiok Meats, personalised nutrition innovators TCI Gene, and the New Zealand government-funded High Value Nutrition Challenge.

Ageing in Japan: FANCL launches supplements to regulate uric acid levels in middle-aged men

Japanese skincare firm Fancl has launched a supplement to reduce uric acid levels in men​, and claims it is the first supplement to do so in Japan.

Targeted at middle-aged men, the supplement named Uric Acid Support comes in the form of capsules and is registered as a Food with Function Claim (FFC)​.

An elevated level of uric acid is a cause for concern, as it may lead to hyperuricaemia and eventually, gout. In response to queries from NutraIngredients-Asia​, a spokesman said the product was able to regulate uric acid levels due to the presence of ampelopsin and chitosan.

Japan sports nutrition leader Meiji eyeing 10% sales growth amid expanding market

Meiji is aiming for 10.6% sales growth for its sports nutrition business​ amid a flourishing domestic market.

If the target is met, the firm will generate a sales figure of ¥$21.1bn (US$190m).

Not much is known about Meiji's sports nutrition portfolio outside of Japan. Besides dairy products, it is in fact a forerunner in the domestic sports nutrition space, led by the success of its flagship brand SAVAS, which was launched in the 1980s.

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