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Now Available: Herbal/Traditional Products in Japan

New Healthcare market report from Euromonitor International: "Herbal/Traditional Products in Japan"


Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/02/2014 -- Herbal/traditional products in Japan declined by 1% in current retail value terms in 2013 due to the slow performance of the various categories. Only herbal/traditional dermatologicals grew because of the positive performance of Kinkan by Kinkando Co Ltd and Mouga by Bathclin Corp. Herbal/traditional remedies in Japan consists of kampo (Japanese traditional medicine focusing on improving individuals' physical constitution) products, and OTC drugs and vitamins and dietary supplements made of kampo-based crude drugs. Based on established theories, kampo products are made from various combinations of crude drugs from plants, fungus, minerals and others. Kampo products are widely recognised and well-trusted among Japanese consumers because most are classified as class 2 OTC drugs. Another reason is that kampo products are available at hospitals and clinics with a doctor's prescription. As it is common for doctors to prescribe both Western drugs and kampo products, the latter are considered almost equally effective.

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Competitive Landscape

Miki Corp remained the leader in herbal/traditional products in Japan in 2013. The company is a food and drink direct seller and the driving force of its sales is Miki Prune Extract, which is classified into herbal/traditional dietary supplements. The product contains vitamins and minerals and is said to be effective for constipation and anaemia. The product is well-known for TV commercials featuring Kiichi Nakai, a Japanese actor popular among middle-aged and elderly women, who are the primary customers of Miki Prune Extract. While the company maintains the largest retail value share in the market, this is declining due to the ageing of its customers and fewer opportunities for direct selling with the increasing number of dual-working households.

Industry Prospects

Herbal/traditional products is expected to register a negligible CAGR at constant 2013 prices over the forecast period. Herbal/traditional cough, cold and allergy (hay fever) remedies, dermatologicals, and dietary supplements are likely to attract large numbers of consumers. One of the factors behind the estimated static market size is the popularity of prescription kampo products. While OTC kampo products are widely available at parapharmacies/drugstores, prescription kampo products are more common among Japanese consumers because they can receive appropriate kampo medication. As kampo medicine focuses on improving each individual's physical constitution, each kampo formula is intended for individuals with different physical constitutions. Thus, taking inappropriate kampo products based on self-judgment can bring about no positive effects to consumers. Therefore, it is key for manufacturers to provide consumers with information and counselling services so that they can choose the appropriate kampo medication.

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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