Japan Focus: Kirin-Blackmores deal, Japanese consumers’ purchase drivers, General Oyster’s nutra endeavours and more

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

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©Getty Images

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Kirin and Blackmores’ acquisition plan, factors driving Japanese consumers’ purchasing choices, Kirin’s whiskey export push, and General Oyster’s venture into supplements feature in this edition of Japan Focus.

Kirin / Blackmores deal – Exclusive analysis: Japan giant eyes immunity growth and functional food innovation

Kirin and Blackmores announced their acquisition plan valued at AUD$1.88bn (US$1.24 billion)​ on April 27.

The two companies had been in talks since last year, Kirin revealed to NutraIngredients-Asia​, with Blackmores’ management expected to continue leading the firm.

Kirin is likely to leverage Blackmores’ established sales channels and double down on new product development in the wake of the deal, according to exclusive insights from the Japanese giant and industry experts.

Likewise, Blackmores can expect to gain from Kirin’s R&D capabilities, especially in terms of dosage formats and environmentally friendly packaging. The company may also co-develop products with another Japanese firm FANCL, in which Kirin holds a stake in.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF COMMENT: Blackmores sale - a best-case outcome for all concerned?

Rumours that the Blackmores’ board – and its largest individual shareholder Marcus Blackmore – were open to a takeover have bubbled away for at least 18 months.

To many outside of Japan, and those with only a passing interest in the dietary supplements industry, the fact that Kirin, best known for its booze, is splashing out US$1.2bn on the iconic Aussie nutra brand was probably something of a surprise. But it shouldn’t be.

Gary Scattergood, Editor-in-Chief of FoodNavigator-Asia​, NutraIngredients-Asia​ and CosmeticsDesign-Asia ​gives his take on the Kirin-Blackmores deal.

Nippon Food Shift: Japanese consumers’ purchasing choices primarily driven by affordability and local production – government survey​ 

New data from the FY2022 version of Japan’s annual Dietary Habits and Lifestyle Survey has revealed that affordability and local production are the factors holding the most sway over local consumer purchasing decisions.

The Survey was conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and involved 4,000 participants nationwide.

Particular emphasis is placed on factors guiding consumers’ food and beverage purchasing choices, and awareness levels surrounding the government’s ongoing Nippon Food Shift national campaign.

'Concerted effort': Kirin outlines exports push for its FUJI whiskey brand alongside industry awareness campaign

Kirin is looking to accelerate one of the Japanese government’s priority export items – whiskey – in the US and EU, while also backing an industry-wide effort to boost consumer awareness.

Kirin started exporting its FUJI Whiskey three years ago due to growing popularity of Japanese whiskey in Western markets.

Speaking to FoodNavigator-Asia​ late last year, Kirin touted its achievement​ to have reached its 2025 goal of 50% overseas sales for the Fuji brand three years ahead of schedule.

Shuck and awe: Japanese oyster company shells out on first beauty and nutritional supplement

General Oyster has entered the supplement space with the debut of its zinc-rich tablets made from oyster ingredients, which are targeted at beauty- and health-conscious women.

The “8th Sea Oyster Supplement” is made from oysters that are purified using the firm’s patented technology, which utilises concentrated deep sea water from Nyūzen in Toyama Prefecture to optimise the balance of mineral elements in sea water and oysters.

The firm hopes that the sugar-coated tablets would appeal to even those who do not like oysters.

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