FOSHU (Food for a Specific Health Use) foods and drinks are quite popular these days, and the ever-changing Japanese beverage market is constantly bringing out new offerings to appeal to consumers who want to have some function with their food. Even products with ingredients that may seem unappealing can be easily sold, especially in the name of beauty. Need an example? How about the zero-calorie Placenta 10000 jelly drink?
We first encountered the Placenta 10000 (has 10000 mg of placenta) from Nihon Sofuken at an expo a few weeks ago and had the following conversation with their rep:
Me: This has placenta in it?
Rep: You know how placenta usually smells really bad?
Me: Mmm…I can guess.
Rep: Well, ours doesn’t have any smell at all!
They don’t lie at Nihon Sofuken, because I didn’t taste or smell anything besides peaches, an important factor when selling to young women. For older people and men, the perception is that if a health drink tastes good, it’s not good for you. In fact, an Okinawan health drink maker at the same expo was actually disappointed when I said his product tasted good!
Placenta is said to have regenerative properties, especially concerning beauty, and can help with dieting as well. At about $8 per drink, it’s expensive, but Japanese aren’t exactly known for sacrificing their health and looks for a couple of bucks either.
Of course, if you want to make your own placenta cocktails, the Placenta 400,000 extract (above) might be more to your taste, but I have the feeling that it doesn’t smell much like peaches.