It launched a new health food, a supplement called ginkgo biloba and lutein at the end of August 2019.
In responses to queries from NutraIngredients-Asia, Ko Murai, executive officer and general manager of health care business division at Nippon Flour Mills said: “Japan is one of the countries, which has the highest life expectancy and (we) are faced with an ageing society.
So, Japanese middle and senior consumers tend to take care of themselves well (self-medication) to keep themselves staying young and healthy for long time,” he said.
The Japanese company produces flour and flour-related products such as dried noodles and premixes.
Ko said: “[the company] has a long experience in research relating to grains and plants. We have also been supplying ingredients with health benefit such as flaxseed and ceramide to consumers.”
“We are now using these ingredients to produce our supplement products.”
Memory and eyesight
According to Ko, the supplement product is labelled Food with Functional Claims (FFC) and is targeted for the brain and eyes.
“It has two health benefits, memory to help remember and recall words/figures, as well as improve eyesight,” he said.
He added this has led to high interest especially from senior consumers.
The active compounds in the supplement are flavonoid derived from ginkgo biloba (28.8mg), terpene lactone (7.2mg), lutein (10.0mg), and zeaxanthin (2.0mg).
It is suitable for daily intake (three capsules). Ko said the product was only available in department stores in Japan or Nippon’s online store.
The retail price is JPY 4,000 without tax and comes in a bottle (90 capsules).
The company reported consolidated sales of JPY 335.3 billion (US$3.1bn) for FY2018.
According to the company’s financial results, its food business which includes flour products, frozen foods and pasta sauce contributed the most sales in the first three months of 2019 at JPY 51 billion (US$472m).
Its flour milling business contributed JPY 25.7bn (US$239m) while other businesses which involve engineering and healthcare collected JPY 8.8 billion (US$82m).
According to the company, sales of its healthcare business were higher than the same period of 2018 because of strong demand for ceramides, which are functional materials.