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Robust Japanese Functional Foods Market Continues To Lead The World

September 21, 2010: 12:18 PM EST

It is not surprising that the world’s functional food makers pay close attention to Japan. The country’s Yakult company launched the industry with probiotic yogurt in the 1950s, and since 2006 Japan has launched 3,522 new foods and non-alcoholic beverages that claim they are “high in” a functional ingredient. Although there have been bumps along the road – the removal of the cholesterol-lowering oil econa from the market, and the appearance and disappearance of numerous products – the market is huge, $27 billion, triple the size of the U.S. market. Euromonitor says the Foods for Specified Health Use (FOSHU) market was worth $8 billion in 2007, three times the 1999 level. The latest trend in Japan? “Collagen cuisine:” shark’s fin, pig’s trotters, etc., targeting the anti-aging market.

Shane Starling, "Japan: Functional foods, fads and food scares", NutraIngredients.com, September 21, 2010, © Decision News Media SAS
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