This is the latest co-operation between the firms following Kirin’s purchase of a 30.3% stake in FANCL last year.
Kirin is now hoping that FANCL’s distribution strengths in China will expand sales of its iMUSE professional plasma lactic acid bacteria + barrier vitamin C product beyond Japan.
The product is currently only available at pharmacies, clinics and hospitals in the domestic market.
It will be launched via cross-border e-commerce to China for RMB189 (USD27).
According Ataka Takashima from Kirin Holdings’ corporate communications department, the yoghurt flavoured vitamin C supplement contains about 100 billion Lactococcus lactis strain Plasma in two tablets, the recommended daily intake.
Takashima said: “These chewable tablets can be chewed without water and are easy to take on the go.”
Kirin said the product was less susceptible to heat, light and oxidation damage.
iMUSE sales up
FANCL’s Toshihiro Tomita told NutraIngredients-Asia: “With the increasing spread of COVID-19, there has been growing interest in maintaining health and well-being.”
Kirin reported that its iMUSE product sales had almost tripled year-on-year, likely contributed by measures to increase awareness of Lactococcus lactis strain Plasma through in-store sales promotion.
Takashima said: “More and more customers are actively taking in lactic acid bacteria as part of their health management in these days.”
“Sales of iMUSE supplements brand products containing Lactococcus lactis strain Plasma increased significantly in March compared to the previous year. In particular, sales of iMUSE professional were more than 2.5 times higher than the same month of previous year.”
Sales volumes of iMUSE beverage brand products containing Lactococcus lactis strain Plasma also more than tripled from January to March 2020 year-on-year.
The next move for the two companies is to expand Kirin’s corporate service (Kirin naturals), which delivers fruit and vegetable smoothies to companies in Japan. Takashima said: “These smoothies make it easy and delicious to consume your daily intake of vegetables and fruits that many people are often lacking. The smoothies come in a convenient pouch container that is easy to drink.”
While the delivery service will continue, FANCL will also sell them on its online channels in Japan.
The two smoothies available are Kirin The Green and Kirin The Yellow.
Kirin The Green is a blend of leafy vegetables such as kale, celery and parsley combined with fruits. Kirin The Yellow is a blend of nine vegetables, mainly carrots, and four types of fruits.