A Yen for Functional Foods

The Japanese now spend the equivalent of $126 per person per year on functional foods compared with $68 per person per year in the U.S., $51 for Europeans and about $3 for other Asian populations, according to Functional Foods & FOSHU (“foods of specific health use”) of Japan, a report from Paul Yamaguchi & Associates, Tarrytown, N.Y.

Functional foods are mainstream in Japan; in fact, the Japanese spent 6 percent of their food budget on them. Since 1990, more than 5,500 functional foods have been introduced in the country and there are, on the average, 1,500 to 2,000 functional foods on the market.

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