Japan Focus: Plant-based firm NEXT MEATs, food aid for elderly, cultivated protein sector, Japanese diet & sustainability goals, functional foods

By Audrey Yow

- Last updated on GMT

Japan Focus: NEXT MEATs, food aid for elderly, cultivated proteins, sustainability goals, functional foods

Related tags Japan

This round-up features plant-based firm NEXT MEATS, food aid for the elderly, cultivated protein sector, Japanese style diet & sustainability goals and health hazards in functional foods.

Plant-based progress? Japan’s NEXT MEATS touts cleaner labels but better texture and taste

NEXT MEATS’s claims to offer several advantages over existing plant-based products, including improved taste and texture despite minimal use of ingredients, and being ambient storage-friendly for up to 12 months. Its soy protein-based meat alternative was unveiled at a trade fair in Thailand earlier this year.

The unflavoured nature of the meat alternative has proven to be a hit among restaurant chefs, as they prefer to cook it in their own ways.

NEXT MEATS admitted that its domestic market is “not really ready” for plant-based meat alternatives yet. However, the historic high number of travellers to Japan in the post-COVID era has seen an increasing demand for vegan options.

Food ‘refugees’ in Japan: Government survey reveals strong need to improve food access aid for elderly consumers

Close to 90% of municipalities in Japan need to improve accessibility to food for elderly consumers amid the country’s shift to an ageing population, according to new government data.

Consumers who are experiencing difficulties have been dubbed ‘shopping refugees'’, “people with limited shopping needs'’, and ‘”people with shopping difficulties, and their number is increasing, so much so that this ‘food access issue’ has become a social problem in Japan.

‘Plugging the gaps’: Market consolidation in cultivated protein sector vital to overcome ‘disillusionment’

Singapore cultivated seafood firm Umami Bioworks believes that strategic mergers are crucial to overcome doubts about the sector and achieve buy-in from major brands which can help the category scale-up.

Umami Bioworks feels that for major industry incumbents to include cultivated protein as part of their business, there is a need to sell them a positive vision of what the cultivated protein sector could look like in future.

Global implications: Japanese style diet could help achieve sustainable development goals worldwide

Researchers reported in a global ecological study that a Japanese style diet is associated with good health and wellbeing, and could help achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) worldwide.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the United Nations Summit in 2015 included 17 SDGs. Reducing the environmental impact of diet is essential for achieving the SDGs worldwide.

Japan functional foods review: More than 110 health hazards on 18 FFC products reported

Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) said more than 110 health hazards involving 18 Foods with Function Claims (FFC) products were declared by FFC businesses in recent weeks.

Recent death cases linked to the consumption of Kobayashi Pharmaceutical’s red yeast FFC had prompted the inquiry into FFC businesses.

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