Japan focus: Kirin and Morinaga’s SEA ambitions, hair growth sector opportunity and more

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Japanese firms' expansion strategies for SEA health and nutrition market

Related tags Morinaga Kirin

This round-up features our latest interviews with Kirin, Morinaga, and Toei Shinyaku during recent business events, including Growth Asia Summit and Vitafoods Asia tradeshow, where the firms outlined their business strategies in South East Asia and more.
Immunity partnerships: Kirin targets SEA dairy, functional drinks collaboration with award-winning ingredient

Kirin is expanding its presence in South East Asia (SEA) with its flagship postbiotic ingredient trademarked IMMUSE, and collaborations with major dairy companies are underway.

In addition, the firm is applying for halal certification to market the ingredient in Indonesia and Malaysia.

In fact, the firm has been actively seeking brand collaborations within and outside of Japan. Coca-Cola Japan is another example that it is working with to formulate IMMUSE into functional beverages.

Lack of competition? Japanese firm finds opportunities in overseas hair growth supplement market

Toei Shinyaku is introducing its hair growth supplement – a category which it deems as a less competitive category – in overseas markets including South East Asia.

Two years ago, the firm took home the NutraIngredients-Asia Award 2020 Product of the Year (Botanical)​ with King Agaricus 100 – a product which claims to boost immunity, mitigate side-effects of chemotherapy, aid liver and heart health, as well as reduce fatigue.

We recently caught up with Akitomo Motoi, president of the firm at Vitafoods Asia held in Bangkok between October 5 and 7.

Thailand ‘the supplement market’ in SEA: Morinaga on new ingredient launch in the region

Thailand is “the supplement market” when it comes to introducing new functional ingredienst into the South East Asia region and beyond, says major Japanese dairy and functional ingredients manufacturer Morinaga Milk.

The firm pointed out the above during an interview with NutraIngredients-Asia ​at Vitafoods Asia in October.

Apart from the market size, and market awareness, Thailand also commands a sizeable health supplements export business, especially to the Middle East, said the firm.

Japan GM food: New data ‘further supports’ the case for genetically modified ingredients – government study

The Japanese government has found no evidence of genetically modified (GM) food ingredient crops posing any risk to surrounding biodiversity in its latest nation-wide study, seemingly further supporting the case for GM foods to be granted wider berth in the local food supply.

Japan has been conducting studies on GM food crops including soybeans and rapeseed since 2006, and the latest 2020/2021 report has concluded that the cultivation of these GM crops poses no risk to local biodiversity.

For instance, locally grown non-GM crops are unlikely to be affected by GM crops, a possibility that has long existed as a major concern and argument for consumer groups opposing the government’s interest in introducing more GM foods.

Ageing support: Soy peptide supplementation may benefit motor, memory function in the elderly - Japanese RCT

Soy peptide supplementation may help to improve both motor and memory function in community-dwelling older adults, alongside an exercise regimen, a Japanese study has found.

The researchers behind the study wrote that soy peptide, when consumed as a functional food, has reportedly improved cognitive function.

Through a population-based, non-blinded, randomized controlled trial, they sought to verify the combined impact of soy peptide supplementation and exercise on cognitive function in community-dwelling older adults in Japan.

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