Japan focus: Kirin’s target for Blackmores, exclusive FFC data, demand for RTE bento and more

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

©Getty Images
©Getty Images

Related tags Japan

This round-up features Kirin’s revenue target for Blackmores and its less-calorie immune care probiotic drink, rice endosperm protein’s effect on anxiety, FFC insights based on exclusive data, and more.

Single intake of rice endosperm protein (REP) may improve anxiety, nervousness – Japan RCT

The single intake of REP hydrolysate reduced anxiety and nervousness, but repeated intake over four weeks had limited effects on the mood state of participants, says Japanese researchers.

Significant results were observed in both subjective (Tension–Anxiety subscale; p = 0.037) and objective measurements (Salivary CgA Concentrations; p = 0.034) for the intervention group after a single intake of REP hydrolysate.

The results were based on a randomised, double-blind, and placebo-controlled trial conducted with 76 participants aged 20 to 64 years.

Burgeoning bento culture: Japanese consumers seek healthy, hassle-free and affordable RTE products in convenience stores – survey

In a recent survey by ITOCHU Group’s MyVoiceCom, about 45% of 9,461 respondents said that they consume bento boxes — also known as ready-to-eat (RTE) lunch boxes — sold at convenience stores.

Results showed that more than 10% of people who buy bento boxes eat them more than once a week, with the ratio being high among men and young consumers.

The reasons cited by the respondents include ‘the desire to finish a meal quickly’, ‘no time to prepare meals’, and ‘troublesome to make lunch boxes’.

Great expectations: Kirin targeting Blackmores to hit 100bn yen revenue, 15% profit margin

During its latest financial results presentation, Kirin revealed that it is targeting Blackmores to achieve a revenue of 100bn yen (US$687m) and a net operating profit margin of 15% or more by around year 2030.

Kirin’s acquisition of Blackmores was completed earlier this month, with the formerly Australian Securities Exchange-listed firm delisted on August 10.

Against the backdrop of declining and an ageing population in Japan, which would affect its core alcoholic beverage business, Kirin will set sight on growing its health science business in Japan and Asia-Pacific in the medium to the long-term.

Japan’s functional food insights: Sleep, stress and skin health claims on the rise – exclusive data

Japan’s FFC system had seen the entry of more products claiming sleep, stress and skin benefits in FY22, while concerns relating to the ageing population, such as muscle health, are expected to rise in the near future, exclusive new data reveals.

According to Japan-based nutraceutical consultancy firm Smooth Link Inc., 1,429 FFC notifications were submitted in FY2022. This is slightly less than that of FY2021, which saw 1,445 submissions.

Calorie crash: Kirin launches immune care probiotic drink in Japan with 50% less calories

Kirin has introduced a version of its immune care probiotic drink with 50% less calories, claiming to make it more accessible for health-conscious consumers without compromising on taste.

The product is available in convenience stores and supermarkets alongside the original Kirin Oishii Immune Care​ launched earlier this year.

Ikuyo Yogo from the corporate communications department at Kirin said that the new version aims to widen product access to calorie- and sugar-conscious consumers.

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