Behind the Big Story

Beyond ageing in Japan: Bayer on why market opportunities abound for maternal and infant nutrition - WATCH

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Bayer Consumer Health Bayer maternal health Pregnancy Fertility

Japan may be an ageing society with a shrinking population, but with preconception care on the rise and a record number of babies born via in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) in recent years, companies such as Bayer Consumer Health are seeing growth opportunities in these sectors.

The country saw a record high of 69,797 babies born via IVF in 2021, and this was 15 per cent higher than that of year 2020, according to data released by the Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology last year.

Alongside an increase in fertility treatments is a greater attention on preconception care, Sinan Yuksel, Global Head of Elevit, Bayer Consumer Health, told NutraIngredients-Asia ​in the latest episode of Behind the Big Story.

Other noticeable trends include a growing interest in holistic infant care, especially in areas such as cognitive development, gut health, and immunity, as well as a greater demand for knowledge in self-care.

Against this backdrop, the company beefed up its offerings under its Elevit brand with the launch of “Elevit Postnatal Care” designed for breastfeeding mothers.

“There is an increased focus on fertility and preconception care, especially in Japan, and we are seeing a noticeable rise on consumer interest in fertility treatments and preconception care.

“This is demonstrated both with the online engagement and increase in search trends,”​ Yuksel said.

Elevit Postnatal Care is formulated with nutrients such as multivitamins, folic acid, iron, zinc and calcium based on nutritional gaps seen among pregnant women in Japan. 

According to a survey involving 677 pregnant women conducted by Bayer Yakuhin and General Incorporated Association Luvtelli in December 2021 to May 2022, deficiency in vitamin B1, iron, magnesium, and zinc is common during pregnancy. 

“When consulting national surveys in Japan, we see that there are consistent nutritional shortfalls among the population. Specifically for women, there are general shortfalls in the intake of folic acid, iron and others. This underscores the importance of products like Elevit, which provide a comprehensive formula of vitamins and minerals. They address not only one individual nutrient shortfall, but cover a broader spectrum of nutritional requirements,”​ said Luca Barella, Global Medical Marketing Manager for Nutritionals at Bayer Consumer Health.

While maternal and infant care are closely linked, the role of paternal nutrition is just as crucial.

There has been an increase uptake in paternal nutrition supplementation, but awareness remains low, and there is a need to foster more discussion and awareness about the male reproductive health, Barella added.

Prior to Elevit Postnatal Care, Bayer Consumer Health’s most recent launch in Japan was Menevit – a male fertility supplement formulated to promote sperm health and is available in six Asia-Pacific markets, including China, Australia, and New Zealand.

Watch the video to find out more.

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