Japan is the largest market for functional foods and especially very attractive market for drink products, including functional and health drinks. Health drink products are part of daily healthcare procedures for a large part of Japanese population. Consumers are loyal to their favorite products, but also very interested in trying new attractive products.
The Japanese partner of Pepsi products, Suntory Food International announced the forthcoming launch of Pepsi Special in the Japanese market.
This new Pepsi Special cola drink is designated as a FOSHU (food for specified health use) category product for reducing the absorption of fat. The action of indigestible dextrin (dietary fiber) will slow the rise of neutral fat in the blood after meals.
The main target group of this product is male consumers in 30-40 years. The price of Pepsi Special (490 ml) will be 158 JEN (1,5 Euro). Suntory is expecting to sell about 24 million bottles in the first year and 250 million bottles after 3 years.
But this is not the first product in this product category. The first product, Kirin Beverage’s Kirin Mets Cola with FOSHU approval was launched in April 2012 with very good sales since the launch. Kirin Mets Cola was sold over 24 million bottles in the first 2 weeks and the sales of September was already over 170 million bottles. So this is very attractive product segment and now Suntory is entering with well-established brand “Pepsi”. The prices and concepts are very similar with these two products, so it will be interesting to see how these two products will catch consumers and develop sales in near future.
Also traditional and classic drinks are getting new twists to become functional food healthcare products. Recently Kao has announced that its Healthya beverage (mainly health tea drinks products till now) brand is going to get a new addition in 2013 with a FOSHU coffee product as the result of their polyphenol related research.
Additionally to the special drink products (vitamin tonic products, beauty care drinks etc.), the Japanese consumer has a wide variety of “tuned” beverage products, e.g. tea, coffee, coke, to maintain good health and wellness.