Japan Focus: Ajinomoto, Sapporo and Mitsubishi feature in our industry round-up

By Gary Scattergood contact

- Last updated on GMT

Currently, Ajinomoto Co and its two subsidiaries Knorr Foods and Ajinomoto Packaging operate separately.
Currently, Ajinomoto Co and its two subsidiaries Knorr Foods and Ajinomoto Packaging operate separately.
In our latest round-up on the industry developments from Japan, we look at the organisational changes at Ajinomoto and Mitsubishi, and assess Sapporo's latest China push.

Ajinomoto Group restructures: Food manufacturing arm formed in bid to raise profit margins

Japanese food corporation Ajinomoto Group will open a new food manufacturing company in April next year.

The new company named Ajinomoto Food Manufacturing will oversees the manufacturing and packaging of seasonings and processed foods.

Currently, Ajinomoto Co and its two subsidiaries Knorr Foods and Ajinomoto Packaging operate separately.

The formation of Ajinomoto Food Manufacturing will see the integration of Ajinomoto Co and its two subsidiaries, specifically 1) manufacturing and packaging of seasonings and processed foods of Kawasaki Administration & Coordination Office and the Tokai plant of Ajinomoto Co, 2) three plants of Knorr Foods, and 3) two plants of Ajinomoto Packaging. 


Deep freeze: Demographic changes spur Japan supermarket to target frozen food growth

Supermarket chain Ito-Yokado hopes to grow its frozen food category by 10%​ with the launch of new frozen meals and side-dishes.

Ito-Yokado is a member of convenience chain store Seven & i Holdings – which manages convenience stores, department stores, and specialty stores.

It recently launched the brand “EASE-UP”, which consists of 14 frozen meals and side-dishes, including sushi, clams, noodles, and meat. The frozen food can be consumed after stir frying, boiling or microwaving.

Most of the products were launched on September 24, with the price ranging between 105 yen (cheese chicken wings) and 594 yen (squid and scallop mix with XO sauce).


Mitsubishi Corporation Life Sciences to boost market share in health food with consolidation of subsidiaries

Mitsubishi Corporation Life Sciences Limited is set to build its portfolio in health food with the consolidation of its three subsidiaries.

The three subsidiaries are MC Food Specialties, Mitsubishi Shoji Foodtech, and KOHJIN Life Sciences Co.

The consolidation will take place by April 1 next year.

Mitsubishi Corporation Life Sciences itself is 100% owned by Mitsubishi Corporation, which has businesses spanning across environment and infrastructure, medical, energy, and industrial finance industry.


Premium push: Sapporo partners we AB InBev to target high-end beer market in China

Sapporo has designated Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) as the master distributor of its Sapporo Premium Beer in China, with its eye on the premium booze market.

“[The] premium segment of [the China beer] market inclusive of imported beer brands is in particular continuing to exhibit dramatic growth,”​ said Sapporo in an official statement.

“[We] also intend to gain a foothold in this market segment and expand its distribution channels.”

The global beer market was valued by market researchers at US$ 530 bn in 2016, and is predicted to reach roughly US$ 750 bn by 2022. Premium beer is expected to grow at the highest CAGR up until 2022.


High salt intake linked to development of impaired kidney function: Japanese study

The higher the salt intake, the higher the risk of developing kidney impairment​, according to a group of Japanese researchers.:

A total of 12,126 subjects with normal kidney function were involved in the study. The subjects visited the hospital for their annual physical check-up between July 2008 and December 2015.

Their salt intake was assessed by estimating 24-hour urinary sodium excretion.

As researchers studied the health records of these subjects throughout the years, they found that those with higher urinary sodium excretion were more likely to develop kidney impairment.

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