Japan focus: New product launches from Kao, Meiji, Kirin

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Flag of Japan. © Getty Images
Flag of Japan. © Getty Images

Related tags: Japan, kao, Meiji, Kirin

This round-up looks at the new product launches in Japan, including Kao’s FFCs for mobility and cognitive health, GABA functional food innovation, and updates from Meiji and Kirin.

Healthy ageing: Kao launches FFCs for mobility and cognitive function in new format and claims

Kao has launched two new healthy ageing related Foods with Function Claims (FFCs) in Japan, targeted at improving mobility and cognitive function.

Launched under the Refine (リファイン) brand, the products are first made available in 274 stores from the Sugi Pharmacy chain on April 4.

Key ingredients used in the products include milk-derived sphingomyelin for the mobility product and coffee bean-derived chlorogenic acids.

GABA innovation in functional foods: Ingredient added to chocolate, rice products in Japan

There has been a slew of product innovation surrounding gamma-aminobutyric acid – better known as GABA – in Japan, with the ingredient incorporated in an array of dosage formats under the Foods with Function Claims (FFCs) framework.

Some examples include Van Houten chocolate powder beverage which claims to improve sleep quality and rice products by Deria Foods which claims to lower blood pressure.

There is a trend of incorporating GABA in FFCs that come in general food forms, and not just the capsule and tablets formats, with other examples such as soybean sprouts by Salad Cosmo.

Bouncing back: Meiji re-enters Thailand’s infant formula market after 17 years with powder cubes

Meiji is re-entering Thailand’s infant formula market with a powder cube product, 17 years after it wound up its business in the country due to an international currency crisis.

The product, known as Meiji GU Formula Gold EZcube, is for toddlers age one to three and is currently sold in Thailand via e-commerce.

The technology for making the cubes – which is Meiji’s proprietary technology – is in fact the same as the one used for manufacturing Danone’s Aptamil pre-measured tabs​ launched in the UK a year ago.  

New market: Meiji enters Taiwan’s sports nutrition sector with flagship brand SAVAS

Japanese firm Meiji has launched its sports nutrition brand SAVAS into Taiwan, targeting what it believes is a growing community of sports enthusiasts.

Meiji has launched three SKUs from its flagship whey protein powder range in Taiwan recently, namely yogurt, vanilla, and chocolate. The other flavours sold in Japan include matcha, rich chocolate, and clean fruity flavours.

Each pack, weighing at 1.05kg, is sold at NTD$1,680 (US$57.85).

More formats, more sales: Kirin aims 20% growth in immune product users with brand collab

Kirin is aiming a 20 per cent growth in the number of regular consumers buying functional foods and drinks containing its immune health ingredient LC-plasma by working with brands that can incorporate the ingredient into various dosage formats.

One of the latest brands is Nihon Yakken, which launched a green vegetable juice product containing LC-plasma in end March.

Between Sep 2021 and Mar 2022, a total of 14 new products containing LC-Plasma have been launched. Five were from Kirin and nine by other brands.

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