Japan Focus: Lawson convenience stores, Nestle Japan's new KITKAT, Kirin and more feature in our round-up

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

Lawson convenience stores, Nestle Japan's new KITKAT, Kirin and more feature in this edition of Japan Focus.
Lawson convenience stores, Nestle Japan's new KITKAT, Kirin and more feature in this edition of Japan Focus.

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Lawson convenience stores, Nestle Japan's new KITKAT, Kirin and more feature in this edition of Japan Focus.

Stores for seniors: How convenience retailer Lawson is meeting needs of the elderly population

From store design to product selection, Japanese convenience store giant Lawson has made great strides in transforming its stores to cater to the country’s increasingly elderly population​, including one-stop healthcare shops especially tailored to their needs.

According to Lawson Deputy Senior Vice President and Healthcare Division Director Kazunari Ogawa, the first fact to take into consideration is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to providing for the senior population.

“Elderly people are very diverse – we needed to adjust our services to fit their needs and wants,”​ he said while addressing the audience at our recent Healthy Ageing APAC Summit 2019 event in Singapore.

“In Japan, the current rate of ageing stands at 30%, and this is expected to hit 40% by 2060. Conversely, the population in 2050 is expected to reach 95 million people, but decrease to 48 million people by 2100, so there is a clear downward trend.

“The major challenges that we have to deal with when it comes to ageing are lifestyle and personalised nutrition – [and this is what] our new concept one-stop healthcare shop hopes to address.”

Pulp power: Nestlé Japan launches KITKAT made without refined sugar

Nestlé Japan is launching a new KITKAT product without adding any sugar​, using cacao pulp as a natural sweetener instead of refined sugar.

The product, Cacao Fruit Chocolate, is a 70% dark chocolate bar made from cacao beans and white pulp.

It will be on sale at eight KITKAT stores in Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Kawasaki, and Hiroshima) as well as Nestlé Japan’s online shop in autumn 2019. Each bar retails at ¥400 excluding tax.

No strain no gain: Kirin seeks expansion for immunity and anti-ageing functional foods

Kirin is seeking to secure new markets for its functional food brand “iMUSE”​, which contains the lactic acid bacteria Lactococcus Plasma, with work also underway to include another strain, Lactobacillus KW.

Speaking at our Healthy Ageing APAC Summit in Singapore, Dr Daisuke Fujiwara from the firm’s Business Creation Department, shared Kirin’s research in this novel area to develop immunity strengthening and anti-ageing products.

Fujiwara said: “Along with ageing, our body also comes with other problems like muscle loss, metabolic decline, skin deterioration, bone density reduction, eye problem, and infections​.

“Most of these problems in the human body are related to immunity. The best way to maintain health is to control the immunity.”

Kirin was the first in the world to discover Lactococcus Plasma could activate the “control tower” of immunity, and significantly enhance resistance to infection and ageing. They found conventional LAB could not achieve the same results​,”

Probiota Asia 2019: Probiotics, prebiotics and the emerging science behind the gut-kidney axis to be revealed

The potential for probiotics and prebiotics to deliver significant benefits to people suffering from chronic kidney conditions​, and the emerging science behind the gut-kidney axis, will be the subject of a keynote presentation at our forthcoming Probiota Asia summit.

The presentation will be delivered by Dr Natarajan Ranganathan, Founder and Managing Director of Kibow Biotech Inc. The summit takes place in Singapore from October 22-24,

Dr Ranganathan said: “Advances in technology and biology have given us bio-informatics – the ability to understand and map connections between the gut microbiome and the health of human organs including the brain, liver and kidney.

“The presentation will highlight work on the gut-kidney axis, and demonstrate that, using pre and probiotics, it is possible to bring significant benefits to patients suffering from chronic kidney disease.”

Why Thailand, Indonesia and India are three markets to watch for rapid online grocery growth

Thailand, Indonesia and India will experience rapid growth in the online grocery sector,​ although they are coming from such a low base that it will only account for market shares of 2.8%, 1.5%, and 1.2% respectively by 2023.

According to the latest forecasts by IGD Asia, online grocery sales are forecast to reach US$1.7 billion (Thailand) and US$2.9 billion (Indonesia) in the next four years. India’s online grocery sales are predicted to reach US$10.5 billion by 2023.

E-commerce is forecast to grow significantly in Indonesia as companies such as Alibaba and JD.com invest further. Thailand is also forecast to see a rapid growth in online grocery sales as key players such as Central Group, JD.com, Tesco Lotus and Villa Market build better infrastructure and more seamless apps for shoppers​,” said Shirley Zhu, programme director at IGD Asia.

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