Fuji Keizai, 2024 outlook: 3% increase in fat suppression, 7% increase overall

The market size of functional food products with claims related to stress relief and immune function is expanding. According to Fuji Keizai, the domestic market in 2024 is expected to reach ¥735 billion, representing a 7% increase compared to the previous year. Against the backdrop of consumer health needs, the functional food labeling system, which began 15 years ago, continues to grow.

Fuji Keizai conducted a three-month analysis of the domestic market based on interviews with companies and internal data, starting from November 2023.

By category, the fat suppression sector is projected to increase by 3% to ¥2,928 billion. There is high demand from consumers for products related to the prevention of lifestyle diseases and weight management. Suntory Food International’s “Iemon Rich Flavor” and “Suntory Oolong Tea OTPP” are among the popular choices.

The market size of the sleep sector is expected to reach ¥1,065 billion, an 18% increase. Products like “Yakult1000,” which promise improved sleep quality, have led various companies to introduce similar products.

In terms of ingredients, the expansion of probiotics, estimated at a 14% increase to ¥1,820 billion, is remarkable. Probiotics not only contribute to better sleep but also offer benefits such as improving gut health and stress relief. The continuous release and renewal of new products aimed at maintaining immune function suggest further market expansion.

Products containing GABA, which promote reduced blood pressure, are expected to increase by 10% to ¥207 billion. Similarly, products highlighting catechins for fat reduction are anticipated to grow by 3% to ¥927 billion.

Conversely, the market size of Specific Health Foods (FOSHU), which display similar nutritional and health functions, is declining. It is expected to decrease by 2% to ¥2,638 billion in 2024.

The divergence in direction seems largely influenced by the differences in the process leading to the ability to display such claims. Functional food products can be labeled solely by filing with the Consumer Affairs Agency, as long as they are based on scientific evidence and the responsibility of the business operator. Conversely, FOSHU undergoes government scrutiny for claimed effects, and approval by the Commissioner of the Consumer Affairs Agency is required for each product.

 

Source:Nikkei 13th Mar 2024.

 

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