Japan Focus: Kirin and Kellogg’s functional cereal product, Megmilk’s entry into plant-based market, CRUST Group’s performance in Japan, and more

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

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©Getty Images

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Kirin and Kellogg’s duo-function cereal product, Megmilk’s new business vertical, CRUST Group’s strong results in Japan, latest research findings and more feature in this edition of Japan Focus.

Double functionality: Kirin and Kellogg’s join hands for new cereal product with gut health and immunity benefits

Kirin Holdings and Kellogg’s Japan have co-developed a functional food with “double health claims”, which could also serve as a meal substitute, to meet the rising demand for products that improve intestinal environment and provide immune support at the same time.

All-Bran Immune Care, the new addition to Kellogg’s All-Bran series and a registered Food with Function Claims (FFC), comes after two years of development.

The cereal contains Kirin’s proprietary ingredient Lactococcus lactis​ strain Plasma (LC-Plasma), and arabinoxylan, a fermentable dietary fibre derived from wheat bran.

Yam-derived bioactive improves muscle quality in middle-aged adults – Japan RCT

A 12-week RCT conducted in Japan has showed that the supplementation of a yam-derived bioactive, diosgenin, could improve muscle quality and reduce glycated haemoglobin among middle-aged adults.

The trial studied the benefits of Dioscorea esculenta, ​also known as lesser yam, produced in Okinawa.

Writing in Nutrients, ​the researchers from Ritsumeikan University said that lesser yam has shown to improve glycaemic control in diabetic rats and increase muscle mass in athletes.

Milking plant-based market growth: Megmilk to tap on dairy production expertise for its new vertical

Japanese brand Megmilk is aiming to use its dairy knowledge to produce plant-based beverages, cheese, and other products.

It recently entered a joint venture with Singapore-based agriculture trading firm Agrocorp International to launch its plant-based business.

Megmilk’s medium-term management plan 2025 had specified its plant-based market entry as an important new growth area, as the firm believes there will be rising demand and tightening food supply due to the growing world population and environmental regulations.

Upcycled beverages firm CRUST Group brews ‘strong results’ in Japan, eyes other Asian markets with sustainability demand

Singapore upcycled beer brand CRUST Group has seen a CAGR of over 70% since its first year of business, which has catalysed its overseas expansion plans and diversification into categories beyond beverages.

In 2021, the firm brought its concept to Japan, where it has conducted several pilot projects, which have garnered positive customer feedback, and support from the local government and businesses.

The Group is also looking to set foot in other Asian markets, such as Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, and South Korea.

Major ap-peel: Kirin taps growing RTD and less-sweet trends in Japan to with new lemon alcoholic drink

Kirin is tapping on the growing demand for ready-to-drink (RTD) and less-sweet beverages with its latest lemon chuhai​ drink, Hyakunen Kiwami Lemon Sour.

The canned chuhai​ is made using beer yeast — a by-product from Kirin’s beer production — to ferment lemon juices, a first for the company and an example of its upcycling efforts.

The RTD market in Japan is said to have doubled in size over the past decade till 2022, driven by a ‘fun of choice’ trend that many consumers enjoy.

“There have been more and more less-sweet [alcoholic] products designed for consumption with meals – and there is now a strong impression of ‘RTDs go well with meals’, which has further expanded consumption opportunities,” ​Kirin Corporate Communications Assistant Manager Yutaro Yasuhira told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

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