Paul Yamaguchi & Associates, Inc. Releases Japanese Nutritional Supplement Report

Tarrytown, New York May 12, 2005--A report on the $11.1-billion Japanese nutritional supplement market, entitled 'Nutritional Supplement Japan Market Report 2005': ( is now available from Paul Yamaguchi & Associates, Inc., (PYA) a Japanese nutritional research and consulting company.

Although Japan has been slow to recover from an overall economic downturn, its nutritional supplement market has been growing steadily for the last 10 years. In 1994 the market was approximately $5.0 billion, 10 years later it has doubled to $11.1 billion, an average of 11 percent per year growth. In 2001 the market grew 22 percent, its largest single year growth to date. Between 2002 and 2003, growth has slowed to just over a 5 percent increase, but in 2004, the market bounced back to double digit growth again. Despite years of economic slowdown and a difficult regulatory environment, the Japanese nutritional supplement industry showed its resilience by growing 12 percent in 2004.

The report analyzes 4 categories of Japanese nutritional supplement market,1) Consumer 2) Distributions channels 3) Ingredients, and 4) Regulatory and two other sub-categories, Distribution value chain and Nutritional supplement trends.

Following are some of the highlights from the report:


  • 35 percent of Japanese adults are regular users of nutritional supplements.
  • Women over 40 years old are the highest percentage of regular users among all age groups.
  • 75 percent of nutritional supplement users complain about the high price of supplements.
  • What they take most is vitamins and minerals.
  • Maintaining good health is the main reason for taking supplements.
  • Woman 60 years old spent the most for supplements, 16,500 yen ($150.00) a year.


  • Nutritional supplements are distributed through in three channels: 1) Drugstore, pharmacy channels. 2) Mass merchant, food, natural, supplement store channels, and 3) Direct sales channels.
  • The direct sales channel is the largest at $8.2 billion, up 15 percent from a year ago. And direct sales channels share 74 percent of total nutritional supplement sales in Japan.
  • Drugstore, pharmacy channels share 17 percent of total sales with $1.9 billion, up 5 percent from a year ago.
  • Mass merchant, food, natural, supplement store channels is the third with $1.0 billion with no change from a year ago. MLM, networking and TV shopping are the most popular marketing for the supplement in Japan. This may continue for next several more years, until supplement stores develop a substantial number of units.
    The Internet and TV sales showed strength in 2004.


  • Amino acid, lutein, glucosamine, Co Enzyme Q10, Alpha lipoic acid (ALA), L-Carnitine and MSM were among the leading growth ingredients in 2004, with lutein, glucosamine, CoQ10, ALA extremely well received.
  • L-Carnitine was deregulated by the MHLW in 2002, and 2 years later, the market has reached $35 million and growing rapidly.
  • Co Q 10 and ALA are reaching $100 million mark soon.
  • Japanese ingredients like plum extract, mulberry leaf, turmeric; (Curcuma longa L) and angelica; (Angelica Keiskei Kiizum) were also growing strongly.
  • Non-herbal, specialty ingredients lead the category with $4.1 billion up 19 percent from a year ago.
  • Herbal botanicals are second, with 2.3 billion, up 10 percent from a year ago.
  • The report analyzes over 35 of the most popular ingredients in Japan.


  • Regulations surrounding nutritional supplements are not favorable to the industry.
  • Japan still doesn’t have DSHEA, and supplements are not recognized by law. Instead, Japan has Foods with Health Claims Act, that covers FOSHU (food for specified health use) the health claim regulation. There have been many changes to FOSHU since it started 1991. Most recently, MHLW loosened the approval process so it is now easier to get health claim approval. Also health risk- reduction health claims have been added. However, there still are no dietary, nutritional supplements recognition.
  • Deregulation of ingredients will continue. In 2004, more than 30 ingredients have been deregulated and became food additives and foods that can be formulated into supplements. Herbal and botanical ingredients are mostly deregulated; specialty ingredients are the next in line for deregulation.

The report is over 100 pages and it provides over 50 data charts and graphs to identify market characteristics. In addition to the report, we list over 450 nutritional companies, industry organizations, media and annual conferences.

The report is $399.00 a copy and available in CD format, via e-mail in pdf format (4MB) or hard copy (black/white only).

Visit our website for the details and to order.


Paul Yamaguchi
e-mail: [email protected]

    Hide comments


    • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

    Plain text

    • No HTML tags allowed.
    • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
    • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.