[JAPAN's Health Industry] Gastrointestinal Support Foods: Expand the Market of Prebiotics and Probiotics

Gastrointestinal trouble is a leading modern-day sickness. It drew attention due to a stressed-out society, which is partly due to the Westernisation of diet. In most cases, Japanese people depend on pharmaceutical products when their condition toward various symptoms gets worse. On the other hand, intestinal trouble is one of the leading illnesses of people today as the number of those concerned with IBS is increasing. About Intestine, the terms “intestinal flora” and “bowel brain correlation” are now being used by many people, and research report regarding prebiotics and probiotics for intestinal environment normalisation have had exposures in the media. There is a report regarding a risk that stomach and intestinal troubles depend on pharmaceutical products. This means there is an increasing need for a healthy stomach and intestinal functions.

Recently, the domestic market for medicines for digestion is growing. The reasons for this is the decreasing number of general pharmaceutical products in the market because of decreasing consumption, absence of products that significantly impacts people, super ageing society and, decreasing population. An exception to this includes foreign tourists who went on a shopping spree for general pharmaceutical products including Chinese herbal medicines. However, domestic demand that is worth JPY 50 billion in the market cannot be stopped from decreasing. Pharmaceutical companies indicate that one reason for this is the decreasing number of big drinking parties by companies.

Expand the market of prebiotics and probiotics

70 percent of one’s immune cells concentrate in the bowel. The recognition of “intestinal flora” is rapidly increasing. In addition to bowel-brain correlation, prebiotics and probiotics, the concept of synbiotics is widespread nowadays. Prebiotics is defined as “the increase and activation of a specific bacterial group living in the large intestines; it has good effects people and indigestible substances, which has health improvement functions.” Related ingredients are Oligosaccharide and dietary fibre (inulin, polydextrose and more).Powdered milk is generally recognised as “drink for babies”. Nowadays, however, it is sold and targeted for the senior generation. It is said that the market for seniors is difficult, so it is wonder why powdered milk for adults has become popular.

The main manufacturers are Kyushin Pharmaceutical, Morinaga Milk and Bean Stalk Snow. The reason they started to venture into the senior market is what the elderly are saying: “I drink baby’s powdered milk for my health, but is it good for adults to drink them?”, and “I drink milk for the prevention of osteoporosis, but it hurts my stomach”. Morinaga Milk had received over 100 messages or calls annually regarding this matter. Based on these voices, Kyushin Pharmaceutical put “powdered milk for adults” on the market in April 2014.

The intake of nutritional functional foods (calcium) is twice as much protein and calcium as there is in milk. In order to avoid displaying “senior” on the labels, manufactures use the term “adults”. This has trended and it went out well. Powdered milk, whose image is opposite that of adults, and its uniqueness has become popular through the TV and SNS. It helps to let people know about such products.

There are so many health foods, but the reasons why senior citizens choose powdered milk is that they believe, “It is safe because it is a drink for babies”. People aged 50 to 70 used powdered milk to bring up a child, and that experience convinces them that powdered milk is safe and can be trusted. Also, Bean Stalk Snow analysed that the elderly believe that “taking nutrition= drinking milk”. This concept is familiar to them and is easily for them to take it in real life. It is said that seniors can easily accept things that they have regarded as good. The government advocates “extended health life expectancy” as a policy, and this affects the way seniors think. The three companies mentioned that all these incidents have caused the increased use of powdered milk.

Abstract of The Health Industry News

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第10回中国国際健康食品展示会 アジアの自然・栄養健康食品展2019
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