Japan focus: Suntory, Meiji, Kirin half-year financials, Ajinomoto study in focus

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Japan focus: Suntory, Meiji, Kirin half-year financials, Ajinomoto study in focus

Related tags Japan Suntory Meiji Kirin Ajinomoto

The half-year financial performance of major Japanese health foods companies, including Suntory, Meiji, and Kirin, as well as a new study on umami and stress reduction by Ajinomoto are featured in this Japan industry round-up.
Suntory half-year financials: Asia supplement sales up, but Japan functional products slide

Suntory Beverage and Food has seen it’s Asia supplements sales increase, but health drinks, including those with Foods with Function Claims (FFC), in Japan have dipped.

The company’s total revenue was up 9.3 per cent year-on-year to JPY$603.8bn (US$5.5bn), with a gross profit of JPY$253.6bn (US$2.3bn), up 12.6 per cent year-on-year, according to its FY2021 half-year financial results.

The food and beverage giant runs a health supplement business in the domestic Japanese market as well as other parts of Asia.

Amino acid effect: Ajinomoto study reveals umami may reduce stress in people on low-sodium diet

A study by Ajinomoto​ has revealed that the addition of an umami substance can relieve some of the stress caused by lower food satisfaction in people on a low-sodium diet.

Provided in the form of free L-glutamate, this finding may encourage consumers to make healthier choices without sacrificing palatability and lead to the development of food products made with umami.

Typically, people on sodium-restricted diets such as hypertensive patients have difficulty maintaining their diet due to palatability issues, which could lead to stress.

New normal? Meiji reports sales growth in sports nutrition and gummies, while functional yogurt and formula decline

Sales of sports nutrition, chocolates and gummies in Japan have increased for Meiji, while functional yogurt and formula sales have slumped in comparison to last year’s pandemic-induced spikes.

Net sales for the Japanese dairy giant was down 16.1 per cent to JPY$235.9bn (US$2.2bn), while operating profit declined 19.6 per cent to JPY$18.6bn (US$170m), the Japan-based dairy giant said in its FY2022 Q1 report ​for the month of April to June 2021.

The company, which also runs a pharmaceutical business, said its food business had suffered declines in sales and profits. 

Health beverage boom: Kirin adds immune ingredient to teas on back of iMuse sales success

Kirin is adding the immune-boosting ingredient Lactococcus lactis strain Plasma (Lc-Plasma) into its flagship milk tea and green tea products, with the firm banking on the health angle that has driven the success of its iMuse functional brand to halt a slide in overall beverage sales.

Kirin Holdings, which consists of beverages, health supplements, and pharmaceuticals businesses, recorded six months revenues of US$864bn (US$7.8bn), down one per cent, while profit was JPY$37.5bn (US$342m), down 22.9 per cent, according to its latest financial report.

The brewery giant said revenue from its brewery business was up 4.4 per cent to JPY$300bn yen (US$2.7bn), while that of its non-alcoholic beverage business was down 3.8 per cent to JPY$115.3bn (US$1bn).

Chrono-nutrition: Breakfast the best time to consume protein for muscle building – Japan study

Breakfast is the best time to consume proteins to maximise its benefits in muscle building, says a new study led by Japan’s Waseda University.

The conclusion was based on a clinical trial involving elderly women as well as a series of mice studies.

Writing in Cell Reports, ​the researchers said that in order to increase muscle mass, eating a lower amount of protein at breakfast was more effective than eating a higher amount of protein at dinner.

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