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Digestive Remedies in Japan - New Market Report

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Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/28/2014 -- Retail value sales of digestive remedies declined by 1% in current terms in 2013. All categories except antiflatulents continued to register negative growth. The shrinking digestive remedies market is closely linked with declining volume consumption of alcohol in Japan. More consumers in Japan are drinking less alcohol due to increasing expenditure on other leisure activities including smartphones. Another reason is the shifting consumer preference for drinking at home. Compared to drinking in bars or restaurants with friends or colleagues, consumers tend to drink less alcohol at home because there they are drinking by themselves or with family members. Additionally, the increasing popularity of non-alcoholic beer and cocktails contributed to the fall in alcohol consumption in 2013. These trends caused demand for indigestion and heartburn remedies to decline, which negatively affected the performance of digestive remedies.

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Competitive Landscape:

Taisho Pharmaceutical Co Ltd continued to lead digestive remedies in Japan in 2013 with a value share of 13%. Among several brands that the company operates across categories in digestive remedies, the two biggest brands are Taisho Kampo Ichoyaku in antacids and Colac in laxatives. Taisho Kampo Ichoyaku is the driver of the company's sales in digestive remedies. The company recruited Shun Oguri, a popular young actor, as the brand ambassador in July 2013. As he is particularly popular among young consumers, the company aims to expand the range of its customers and also appeal to young consumers who need treatment for stomach aches caused by stress.

Industry Prospects:

Digestive remedies is expected to register a negative retail value CAGR of 1% at constant 2013 prices over the forecast period. Falling demand for indigestion and heartburn remedies due to the declining consumption of alcohol will continue to negatively affect the performance of the category. Another factor is the declining number of middle-aged male workers due to ageing because they are the primary consumers of digestive remedies. Nevertheless, digestive remedies marketed for stomach aches caused by stress have the potential to lead sales of digestive remedies. Even though the economy in Japan is moving towards recovery, uncertainty remains and demand for treatments for stomach aches caused by stress is expected to grow faster than demand for treatments for stomach aches caused by excessive drinking and eating.

Retail value sales of dermatologicals in Japan increased by 1% in current terms in 2013. Hair loss treatments remained the largest category in terms of retail value sales. The category's steady growth turned negative in 2012 due to the negative growth of RiUP by Taisho Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, the largest brand in hair loss treatments compared to the significant sales increase of the brand in 2011. The remarkable performance was because of research findings by the Japanese Dermatological Association that certified the effectiveness of the key active ingredient in RiUP. Therefore, compared to 2012, sales of hair loss treatments recovered in 2013. While men's hair loss treatments accounted for the majority of the total sales, women's hair loss treatments expanded its value share in 2013 with several new products launches. In addition to women in middle-age and above, an increasing number of young women in their 30s are using hair loss treatment products for prevention purposes.

Competitive Landscape:

Taisho Pharmaceutical Co Ltd remained the top player in dermatologicals. Its brand RiUP continued to dominate hair loss treatments, with a retail value share of 48% in 2013. The company launched an aerosol version of RiUP in December 2012 to meet the needs of young consumers in their 20s and 30s. Kao Corp's Success ranked second. Compared to RiUP, Success is popular among younger consumers because of its affordable pricing. Other players actively promoted women's hair loss treatments in 2013. Bathclin Corp launched three scalp care sprays for women from its hair loss treatments brand Mouga in February 2013. Lion Corp launched its first women's hair loss treatments product, Fleuria, in June 2013, which is only available online. RiUP also offers a hair loss treatments product for women, RiUP Regenne, although its retail value sales remained low in 2013.

Industry Prospects:

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