Japan focus: Kirin’s product innovations, Suntory’s revenue growth and more

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

©Getty Images
©Getty Images

Related tags Japan

This round-up features Kirin’s new product launch and revamp, Suntory’s revenue growth brought by healthy-ageing FFCs, latest research findings, and more.
‘Functional and tasty’: Kirin on ‘bridging the gap’ between awareness and action in immune category

Japanese beverage giant Kirin says it wants to close the “gap between consumer awareness and action” in immune health on the back of a new product launch and tweaks to two of its existing products.

The firm will roll out Kirin Oishii Immune Care across the Japanese market in March, and has made changes to the design and taste for two of its existing immune care products – Kirin iMUSE Immune Care Water and Kirin Nama-cha Immune Care.

The products contained its proprietary functional ingredient Lactococcus lactis strain Plasma (LC-Plasma), and the priority was to combine both function and taste.

Acidified, protein-rich milk drinks shown to boost cognitive functions - Meiji-sponsored study

Acute improvements were noted in the cognitive functions of young adults upon consumption of acidified 10-g and 15-g milk protein drinks, according to a Meiji-backed study.

For participants who had the 10-g or the 15-g milk protein drinks, their ‘shifting’ performance (ability to flexibly shift focus between stimuli) had improved at 15 minutes, while ‘updating’ performance (ability to maintain and manipulate information temporarily) improved at 60 minutes.

The acidified milk drink contains amino acids, which could have played a critical role in the beneficial effects of acidified milk proteins, the researchers reported.

Healthy ageing FFCs bringing strong revenue growth for Suntory’s health foods business in Japan

Food with Function Claims (FFCs) aimed at healthy ageing have been singled out for driving Suntory’s health foods business growth in Japan last year.

The firm said that its health and wellness products, namely Locomore and Omega A.D.E, had posted 6% year-on-year revenue growth during financial year 2022.

Locomore is mainly designed for healthy middle-aged and elderly experiencing problems with their knee joints, whereas Omega A.D.E. refers to Omega arachidonic acid (ARA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and is claimed to “improve memory accuracy” in the older populations.

‘Bad cholesterol’ linked to high bread and low rice dietary pattern for Japanese – Cohort study

To assess the relationship between dietary patterns and serum low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, so-called ‘bad cholesterol’ by the general Japanese population, a multi-institutional collaborative cohort study was conducted.

Japanese researchers found that the ‘high bread and low rice’ dietary pattern leads to higher serum LDL cholesterol for both sexes, while the ‘high confectioneries and low alcohol’ diet did the same only for men.

First of its kind? Japanese firm develops supplement ingredient that promotes stem cell reproduction

Tokyo-based Nutrition Act has developed an olive leaf extract that could be incorporated into health supplements to promote stem cell reproduction.

The extract, which comes from a specific olive leaf species native to Tunisia, is said to increase the body’s production of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1), a type of protein that promotes stem cell proliferation and differentiation in a low-oxygen environment.

Sold under the name HIF1STEM, the ingredient is also claimed to benefit blood and vascular anti-ageing, as well as improve the skin barrier.

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