Known as Meiji 5-Star Custom, the dairy beverage makes five functional claims relating to 1) relief of stress and tension, 2) support blood pressure, 3) improve memory, 4) suppress triglyceride, and 5) suppress rise in blood sugar level.
It contains indigestible dextrin as a source of dietary fiber and GABA – the most-used ingredient in FFCs in the last two years.
“Indigestible dextrin has been reported to have a function to moderate the rise in blood glucose level and triglyceride after meals.
“GABA has the function of lowering blood pressure in people with high blood pressure, relieving temporary mental stress caused by work and study,” the company said.
Each bottle contains 5g of indigestible dextrin and 100mg GABA.
The product has been available nationwide from July 1 via home delivery only – the company’s first FFC to adopt this particular sales channel.
“This product has a wide range of targets, mainly for people in their 60s and over who want to address multiple health issues that increase with ageing, and for people in their 40s and over who want to prevent lifestyle-related diseases.
“Approximately 70 per cent of home delivery users are in their 60s and above,” said Kaori Eguchi from Meiji’s Public Relations.
A special feature of Japan’s health and nutrition industry, under the FFC system, companies can submit an application to launch a new product making functional claims and ingredients to the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA).
Companies will also need to submit scientific evidence supporting the safety and functionality of the product using clinical trial findings or from existing literature.
Meiji’s FFC application for this product was approved by the CAA in February.
There has been a trend of companies selling their FFCs long after it has been approved by the CAA.
In FY2021, only 495 out of 1,445 FFCs approved for sale were successfully launched in the market, according to an analysis by Japan regulatory consultancy Smooth Link Inc.
A possible reason for the delay in product launch is to avoid intense competition as many similar products have been launched.
For Meiji, it has acknowledged that the FFC yogurt category has been marked by tough competition.
In February, it announced that the sales of its functional yogurt have been declining due to the levelling of demand and increased market competition.
Examples of its functional yogurts include Meiji Probio Yogurt PA-3 and Meiji Probio Yogurt LG21.
Meiji is also launching a non FFC beverage known as Meiji Glucosamine 1500 & Collagen 3000.
Also available in 100ml bottles, each product contains 3,000mg collagen, 1,500mg glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin B6, C, and E.
Using recycled materials
The two products are packed in 100 per cent recycled PET resin bottles as part of Meiji’s efforts in following the Japan’s government plastic resource recycling strategy announced in 2019.
Recycled PET resin is made by crushing used PET bottles.
“When developing the container, we also paid particular attention to the shape of the bottle, which is light and easy to hold for consumers of all ages, and also the ease with which the cap is opened,” the company said.