There are 2,500 Foods with Function Claims (FFC) Products released by almost 700 companies, and GABA is the most Popular FFC Ingredient

More than 670 FFC products have been accepted in Financial Year 2019, with new applicant companies

On 25 February, Consumer Affairs Agency released information of eight new accepted FFC products, setting the total number of FFCs to 2,504. Five hundred new FFCs have been accepted in the past seven months, since the number of products reached 2,000 on 12 July 2019. According to the yearly number of products, including those that were withdrawn, there were 310 products in Financial Year 2015, 620 in 2016, 452 in 2017, 690 in 2018, and so far, 674 in 2019 as of 25 February. According to forecasts, it is most probable that 2019 will exceed 2018’s figures. (Financial Year in Japan is from April to March.) The number of companies that released FFC products has exceeded 690, and the top five companies are Fine Japan Co., Ltd (73 products), Toyo Shinyaku Co., Ltd. (71 products), Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd (57 products), Asahi Soft Drinks Co., Ltd (40 products) and Ito En, Ltd (38 products). There are about 50 companies with more than 10 accepted FFC products, and they account for 43 % of all FFCs. Furthermore, newcomers from non-food industries have been actively venturing into the FFC market.

There are plenty of new components involved, and the number of accepted fresh foods for FFC is now almost 60

When categorising 2,504 FFC products by dosage, supplement types account for 49.5%, non-supplement processed foods account for 48.1%, and fresh foods account for 2.4%, which includes 59 products. As local government is now providing steady support to FFC products, the number of FFCs that use local products has been increasing. In 2019, 25 fresh foods with health components from enoki mushroom, paprika, banana, chicken and pork were accepted as FFC.

Based on evaluation methods for the FFCs, research revue account for 92.9% by far. According to a survey conducted by The Health Industry News, GABA is the most accepted component for FFC, and now, there are more than 270 FFC products with GABA. The accepted function claims are as countermeasure for blood pressure, good sleep, stress and fatigue, with different dosage types, such as supplements, beverages, snacks and fresh food. Then, the second accepted component is indigestible dextrin, and the third is EPA and DHA. After that, the next most popular ingredients are ginkgo biloba, isoflavone extracted from kudzu flower, bifidobacterium, theanine, hyaluronic acid and lutein. The number of new components is increasing, and FFC products with royal jelly-derived peptide, royal jelly-derived 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid, porcine placenta-derived peptide, nattokinase from bacillus natto, or rhodanthenone B have been newly launched.

Furthermore, 51.6% of all FFC products are the similar types of conventional FOSHU (Food for Specified Health Uses), and their function claims are related to fat, blood pressure, internal disorders and blood glucose level. Next, the claims related to “good sleep, stress and fatigue”, which GABA often claims, account for 10.9%. After that, eye care 7.4%, cognitive function 7.2%, skin 7.0% and “joint, muscle and walking” 6.3%.

Abstract of The Health Industry News