The green tea drink was originally released in May 2004, but the latest version of the product became available at convenience stores nationwide in early August.
According to the company, the beverage contains gallate-type catechin, which has been widely reported for its ability to reduce body fat.
Catechins are a type of polyphenol and the main astringency component in green tea. Green tea contain more catechins than other types of tea.
Shinichi Sakamoto from the International Sales Department at Ito En said: “Gallate catechin is more effective than free catechin in terms of suppressing fat absorption.”
The company had published a study to investigate the body fat reduction effect of gallate-type catechins.
In a study by Kobayashi et al., in 2016, moderately obese adults were tasked to consume a 500mL green tea beverage daily containing 25, 180, or 279.5 mg green tea catechins for 12 weeks.
The results suggested that when consumed together with a high-fat meal, it significantly reduced abdominal fat compared to the placebo group (green tea beverage without catechins).
Shinichi said Oi Ocha Koi cha contains “340mg of catechin, 0 kcal, 0 protein, 0 lipid, 0 carbohydrate, 0.2 salt equivalent per 1.2L.”
The drink is targeted to healthy people who are concerned about body fat, and is not a specified health food, the company said.
The recommended intake of the drink is two bottles (600mL each) daily, consumed with a meal.
It retails for JPY140 (600mL), JPY230 (1L), and JPY350 (2L), excluding tax.
According to the company, the functional beverage market in Japan grew 14% in 2018. It pointed out the number of people who are conscious about health and weight loss in the country is increasing.
The company intends to sell its products mainly in supermarkets and mass retailers (42%), convenience stores (27%), vending machines (15%), and others (16%).