Japan beverage alliance: Kirin and FANCL on track to launch first functional drink in October

By Guan Yu Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

The new products include a non-alcoholic ready to drink beverage with function claim, which is a collaboration between FANCL’s Calolimit brand and Kirin Brewery’s Chu-hi Hyo-Rei brand, and comes in two flavours (left) as well as flavoured water product (right)  ©Kirin, FANCL
The new products include a non-alcoholic ready to drink beverage with function claim, which is a collaboration between FANCL’s Calolimit brand and Kirin Brewery’s Chu-hi Hyo-Rei brand, and comes in two flavours (left) as well as flavoured water product (right) ©Kirin, FANCL

Related tags: Japan, Kirin, FANCL, functional beverage

Kirin and FANCL is set to release two new beverages in Japan this October, including one with a Food with Function (FFC) claim - their first such products since forming a business alliance last year.

The new products include a non-alcoholic ready to drink beverage with a Food with Function (FFC) claim for reducing the absorption of sugar and fat.

It combines the concept of FANCL’s dietary supplement Calolimit and Kirin Brewery’s non-alcoholic Chu-hi Hyorei brand, and comes in two flavours – lemon and grapefruit.

The second product is a flavoured water product utilising FANCL's ingredients and knowledge in beauty ingredients.

The capital and business alliance​ was announced last year, with Kirin acquiring a 30.3% stake in FANCL.

Kirin Holdings spokesperson Ataka Takashima said the purpose of the alliance was to jointly develop a beverage which combined the strengths of FANCL’s health product knowledge in a format that was more accessible to consumers.

Takashima added that Kirin’s research found high levels of consumer concern around sugar and fat intake.

More than half of respondents are very concerned about abdominal fat and body fat and most people are concerned about the intake of sugar and fat from their diet. This background and the needs of customers are also behind the development of this product​.”

Suppress fat and sugar absorption

Chu-hi is a popular canned alcoholic drink in Japan, often made by mixing shochu or spirits with soda water and/or juice.

The new product Kirin × FANCL Non-alcoholic Chu-hi Hyorei Calolimit was developed to aid in reducing the absorption of sugar and fat following the original Calolimit concept.

Calolimit has been clinically trialled for its properties in reducing blood glucose and triglyceride levels.

The new beverage does not contain Calolimit, instead contains 5g of non-digestible dextrin (dietary fiber) said to also help reduce sugar and fat absorption.

The recommended intake of the drink is one can (350mL) daily, consumed alongside a meal, and is aimed at people over 20.

It will be available at convenience stores, supermarkets and drugstores nationwide, retailing at around JPY148/330mL (US$1.40), tax included.

It will also be sold through FANCL's mail-order sales channel and some of its directly managed stores in Tokyo, Osaka, and Yokohama.

Despite the pandemic, Kirin’s Chu-hi Hyo-Rei brand has seen sales growth of 9% in H1 2020, compared to the previous year. Sales in 2019 were also up 4% on 2018.

FANCL has sold 67 million units of its Carolimit line of supplements since 2000.

Flavoured water

The two companies will also be releasing Kirin x FANCL BASE, a flavoured water product containing collagen (500mg), rose bud (5mg) and vitamin C (27mg), primarily targeting females.

It is available in one flavour, peace and pomegranate, and claims to work as a daily refreshing drink.

It will retail for around JPY138/500mL (US$1.30) in FANCL’s stores and mail-order.

Takashima added that there were plans to jointly develop more health products with FANCL, and even incorporating some of Kirin’s proprietary ingredients such as its Lactococcus lactis strain Plasma​.

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