Appetite for veggies continues: Soda, supplements, and more

Last year vegetables were all the rage—most notably in the drinkable alcoholic form of hit beverages like Tomate. Since then we’ve seen not only an increasing number of straight up veggie drinks on the shelves but other typical convenience store fare like yogurt and pudding spiked with carrots, pumpkin and the like.

And now soda. Kimura beverages, has launched a line of “Yasaider,” combining the Japanese word for vegetable, “yasai,” and “cider,” the sweet lemon lime soda. The first flavor in the line up is tomato. Each 300ml bottle boasts of 10mg lycopene. Incidentally, the same company’s other new beverages include curry and durian flavored non-alcoholic sparkling beverages.

Then there is a new line of health supplements from food giant Itoen’s Maison Natural line, which essentially consists of dehydrated vegetables—though notably domestic ones like burdock root, sweet potato, lotus root, and potherb mustard. These “Domestic Vegetable” supplements (below left), which also include additional iron and folic acid, bring the healthy appetite for veggies back around into the wellness industry.

Speaking of foodstuffs meets wellness, we also liked these “kakipi” (above right)—a bar snack staple of rice crackers and peanuts—from Denroku that come with the added benefit of ukon. Ukon is often consumed in its more raw supplement form before heading out to drink as a way of combating the subsequent hangover. But since we are going to be munching on these tasty salty snacks anyway, the combination is naturally appealing to us!

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About the Author

Rebecca Milner was a contributor at ShiftEast.com, and is currently a Japan correspondent for Lonely Planet.