Kirin Group companies, whether in the beverage or food business, listen to customers and align their processes of developing, manufacturing, and marketing products to add new value to them. We have been translating customers' growing health needs into a variety of products, and will continue to leverage our technical expertise to offer healthconscious customers a wider variety of alternatives to choose from.
We incorporate VOC into the product development cycle ranging from R&D to manufacturing to marketing.
As a growing number of Japanese are suffering with lifestyle-induced diseases, the medical community is shifting its focus from therapeutic care to preventive care, which includes encouraging a well-balanced diet to stay healthy. People will likely become more health-conscious and have more diverse values and needs for healthy living. The Kirin Group—believing that people need to be physically, mentally, and socially healthy to be truly wholesome—offers products and services that extend beyond the health and functional food business to help customers have a happy life.
In 2008, the Kirin Group launched the cross- company Kirin Health Project. Participating Group companies brought their technical prowess to the project and created intercompany synergy to jump-start the health food and beverage business intended to help customers eat healthy and live healthy. Leveraging our wealth of research achievements and technologies, we have developed under the Kirin Plus-i brand products that enable customers to have hard-to-take food items and those with health benefits as part of their daily diet.Kirin Group companies and the Kirin Health Projects will continue to launch new products born out of customers' need to eat healthy and live healthy.
Mets Cola, Designated as Food for Specified Health Use
Kirin Beverage, taking a cue from a market research finding that males in their 30s and older were becoming increasingly health conscious, started to develop a sugarfree cola containing indigestible dextrin that reduces the absorption of fat during meals and that diminishes the increase of neutral fat in the blood after meals. After a series of tasting tests, the company achieved the right balance between sweetness and zestfulness to give this new beverage the thirst-quenching characteristics unique to cola drinks. Mets Cola's packaging design was chosen to give it an easily recognizable look of a cola drink with a specified health benefit; the design's acceptance was verified by quantitative consumer surveys conducted prior to product launch.
Energizing Yogurt for Hard-Working Adults
Koiwai Dairy Products has, as part of the Kirin Health Project, developed an energizing yogurt for hard-working adults in their 40s and older. This yogurt contains 400 milligrams of ornithine*—a self-renewal amino acid found in abundance in freshwater clams—and KW lactic acid bacteria that remain active in the intestine when consumed, combined to work as an energy booster for today's active adults.
The company has come up with a technology (patent pending) to make an ornithine-derived flavor less bitter and prominent in the yogurt so that customers can have it every day.
*Ornithine is a self-renewal amino acid that is reproduced during the ornithine cycle after being consumed in a human body. A faint trace of ornithine is found in some food items as well as in the human body, and is contained in an abundance in freshwater clams. However, ornithine is not easily absorbed from food. Kyowa Hakko Kirin has been researching and mass-producing it since 2003.
Kirin Group companies around the world offer food and drink products that meet the growing needs of health-conscious customers.
Kirin Brewery markets low-calorie, low-carb lowmalt beer. In 2011,the company introduced a carb-free low-malt beer, Kirin Koi-Aji Zero Carb, which offers a rich, full-bodied flavor. Mercian markets Bon Rouge wines, which contain a higher level of polyphenol than other wines in the company's lineup.
Kirin Beverage has been marketing fatfree, carb-free, low-calorie Gogo-no-Kocha (afternoon tea) black tea drink since 2011. The company has introduced two RTD teas with health benefits under the Kirin Plus-i brand: one with a body-warming flavor and the other with a cooling, soothing flavor.
Koiwai Dairy Products markets yogurt made 100% from raw milk, which is designated as a food for specified health use and stabilizes the stomach condition, and also offers low-fat yogurt enriched with calcium. Kirin Kyowa Foods markets a new improved freeze-dried rice porridge under the Kirin Plus-i brand, developed by leveraging the research achievements of the Kirin Health Projects.
To contribute to consumers' healthy lifestyles, Lion has launched Frusion, a non-alcohol beverage for adults, and Farmers Union Iced Coffee "One," with 1% fat and no added sugar.
Lion also offers Vitasoy "VitaGo," a soy milk drink with high protein and fiber, 10 essential vitamins and minerals, and low GI; and Berri Juice 250 ml kids poptop, which has no added sugar or preservative.