Japan Focus: Kirin whiskey export boom, Asahi beer bounceback, Meiji personalised protein tech and more feature in our round-up
Export expectations: Kirin fast-tracks whiskey export targets in light of rapid overseas growth
Kirin is looking to fast-track meeting its targets in whiskey export sales by the end of this year, given the rapid growth it has already seen for the business in overseas markets.
When we last spoke with Kirin about its whiskey business earlier this year, the firm had highlighted its target of increasing overseas sales for its Fuji branded whiskey to 50% by the year 2025.
However, in light of recent developments, the firm is now confident that it will be able to fast-track the achievement of this target and hit this goal by the end of 2022.
Beer is back: Asahi Japan sees sales bounce back but cautions over low-to-no
Beverage giant Asahi has seen a resurgence of consumer interest in beer in Japan, but believes that some challenges are upcoming for other segments including low-alcohol and non-alcoholic products.
When Asahi announced its H1FY2022 results earlier this year, the firm had highlighted plans to focus more strongly on its canned beers segment in Japan, a move which appears to have paid off for its beers business.
This was reflected in its Q3FY2022 financial results, where beer emerged as the top category driving revenue and profit growth over the three months from July to September 2022 in the country.
Personalised protein: Meiji and DeNA Life Science develop algorithm to deliver intake and source advice
Meiji and DeNA Life Science have created an algorithm that recommends the optimal protein source and intake at a personalised level.
In the lead-up to the creation of the algorithm, the firm had referenced data, including body weight, purpose of protein intake, and amount of exercise from research papers. It also conducted a survey among 869 consumers mostly between 20s and 70s to find out their demand for protein products to develop the algorithm.
The effect of the algorithm on body composition was then tested on 30 men and women in their 30s and 40s.
In response to queries from NutraIngredients-Asia, Meiji said it has decided to develop the algorithm because its survey showed that many consumers did not know how to choose the right protein products. The survey findings also showed that the idea of protein intake personalisation was well-received among the consumers.
Organic observance: Japan tightens regulations for food imports and certification label sizing
The Japanese government has implemented tighter regulations for organic food imports, with firms required to appoint specific personnel and use standard organic certification labels to avoid being rejected.
Although the organic food market in Japan is still largely considered an emerging segment, the rise of the health and wellness trend in recent years has delivered a boost to the segment, which was valued at some US$1.8bn as of 2020.
With this rise has come an increase in interest from various international companies to break into Japan’s organic market, and a corresponding increase in organic food imports – this has in turn prompted the local government to implement more stringent regulations to govern the entry of this, as reflected in a recent announcement from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).
Fig leaf tea may help to alleviate atopic dermatitis symptoms in adults: Japanese RCT
Prolonged fig leaf tea consumption may have positive effects on mild atopic dermatitis (AD) in adults, according to a Japanese RCT.
As multiple factors (lifestyle, allergies and skin conditions) contribute to AD, there is currently no known cure and sufferers often must use medication to suppress its symptoms. However, long-term AD medication has side effects, including skin-thinning, stretch marks, increased risk of kidney and liver damage and certain cancers, conjunctivitis and higher blood pressure.
As such, AD sufferers require safer drugs and alternatives. Because researchers at the Toyo Institute of Food Technology in Japan had previously observed positive effects of fig tea on allergy and AD symptoms in animals and cultured cells, they conducted an RCT on patients with mild AD to determine the safety and AD-relieving impact of prolonged consumption of fig leaf tea.