Japan round-up: Meiji, Kirin, Health Support Pharmacies in the spotlight

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Japan round-up: Meiji, Kirin, Health Support Pharmacies in the spotlight

Related tags: Meiji, Kirin, Business

This round-up will look at new developments in Japan’s health and nutrition industry, spanning from business insights to new research findings.
Intake of oral nutritional supplement increases body weight, BMI in elderly at risk of undernutrition – Meiji study

The supplementation of an oral nutritional supplement could increase body weight and body mass index in elderly at risk of undernutrition.

This is according to a 12-week clinical study​ conducted by Meiji and Kamakura Rehabilitation St. Therese Hospital.

Findings showed that in elderly aged 65 and above, there was an increase in body weight by two kg by week 12 of the study, while there was only less than 0.5kg increase seen in the placebo group.

Perilla seed oil with citrus peel powder improves cognitive function in elderly – 12-month Japan RCT 

Perilla seed oil and citrus peel powder supplement could significantly improve age-related cognitive decline in healthy elderly, based on a one-year RCT conducted in Japan​.

The study was conducted on 49 elderly aged 60 to 85, who were randomised into two groups receiving either only the perilla seed oil (PO) or the combination of perilla seed oil and ponkan powder (POPP).

Subjects taking POPP scored significantly higher at their Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) – especially in terms of attention scores – than those who took only PO.

Health foods advice: Majority surveyed in Japan are not aware of Health Support Pharmacies

Almost nine-out-of-10 people surveyed online in Japan have not heard of Health Support Pharmacies (HSPs),​ a new category of pharmacies that provide consultations on diet, nutrition, health foods and nursing care, alongside prescription medication.

Out of the 10,000 respondents, only 2.6 per cent knew what HSPs were, while just 9.2 per cent said they have heard of them.

Japan has institutionalised HSPs in 2016 and as of June 2021, there were 2,608 in operation, representing 4 per cent of the 60,000 pharmacies in the country.

Meiji’s market insights: Functional yogurt sales continue to slide, but sports nutrition on a surge

Meiji’s sales of functional yogurt in Japan have been declining due to the levelling of demand and an intensifying market competition, but sports nutrition is on the up, the firm said.

Net sales of functional yogurt dropped 12 per cent to JPY$24.2bn (US$209m) as compared to Q3 FY2020.

Examples of the company’s functional yogurt products include Meiji Probio R-1 and Meiji Probio Yogurt LG21.

Craft and care: Kirin Brewery to focus on craft beer growth, beverage unit targets immunity boost 

Kirin Beverage says​ it plans to strengthen its health drink business this year, especially on beverages containing the immune health ingredient LC-Plasma.

LC-Plasma is also the key ingredient in Kirin’s iMUSE​ range of supplements, yoghurts, and beverages which is Japan’s first-ever brand registered as a Food with Function Claim for immune function.

Last year, sales volume of beverages containing LC-Plasma increased 66% year-on-year.

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