Since beginning the manufacture and sale of mayonnaise in 1925, the Kewpie Group has expanded into a broad range of businesses encompassing home-cooked foods, ready-made foods, and restaurant meals. At the same time, we have engaged in a wide variety of initiatives suited to diverse meal scenarios in order to contribute to healthy diets by increasing the consumption of vegetables. Our business activities also contribute to food and health at every stage of life from infancy to old age, through the sale of products such as baby foods, healthcare foods, nursing foods for household use, and medical foods.
Product and Project Initiatives
According to the 2014 Patient Survey conducted by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, more than 10 million people in Japan suffer from hypertensive diseases and it is likely that even more have high blood pressure. Kewpie focused on a characteristic of mayonnaise that gives a satisfying flavour with less salt than regular condiments and in June 2016 we launched Kewpie Flaxseed Oil Mayonnaise. High in α-linolenic acid, linseed oil has attributes suited to people with high blood pressure. We will continue to support better diets for those with high blood pressure through serving suggestions that match this product with salads and other vegetable dishes.
Food Allergy Initiatives
In recent years food allergies have been on the rise in Japan and other developed countries, and we believe this is an important issue for food manufacturers to address. We are engaged in various efforts to enable more people to enjoy their food.
Kewpie goes beyond the seven items requiring compulsory allergy labelling to include all 27 legally specified ingredients on labelling. Our baby-food products include labelling on the front listing use of seven highly critical or prevalent food allergens: eggs, dairy, wheat, shrimp, crab, buckwheat, and peanuts.
Baby Foods Free of Seven Common Food Allergens
We are developing baby foods that do not contain the seven common food allergens, using ingredients such as wheat-free soy sauce.
Egg-Free Mayonnaise-Type Condiments
In spring 2014, to cater to students with egg allergies Kewpie launched an egg-free mayonnaise-style condiment for commercial use in school meals. After it went on sale, we perceived a growing household need for such products and in February 2015 we launched an egg-free mayonnaise-type condiment on the consumer market. We will continue contributing to better diets by creating products that society needs.
Egg Allergy Research
Most egg allergies are caused by proteins contained in egg white. We are collaborating with specialist medical institutions to study ways of building tolerance and ameliorating symptoms in egg allergy sufferers by using egg whites heat-treated to denature proteins.
Egg Allergy Prevention through Eating
Food allergies cause reactions such as hives and breathing difficulties, and egg allergy is thought to be especially common in babies. Previously it was thought that consumption of foods causing allergies should be avoided, but recent research* has revealed that starting to feed babies small amounts soon after they are weaned is an effective way of preventing the onset of allergies.
The Kewpie Group is working with specialist medical institutions to study ways of using less allergenic eggs created by heating, etc. and linking their use to safer diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of egg allergy. We will continue to support the discovery of new methods for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
*In 2016, the National Center for Child Health and Development presented the results of research on egg allergy prevention. A study of 121 infants suffering from atopic dermatitis showed that with proper skin treatment, the incidence of egg allergy in babies that ate small quantities of powder made with heat-treated eggs was 8%, compared to 38% for babies that did not eat the powder, demonstrating the effectiveness of this technique.
Less allergenic egg ingredients created by heat treatment.
Initiatives for Children
Using ingredients such as wheat-free soy sauce, we are developing baby foods that do not contain the seven common food allergens.
Our Mame-Katsu® Campaign
Beans are a well-balanced form of nutrition, but many children are not used to eating them. When eating school lunches, children often leave beans on their plates because they don’t like the texture. Since 2016, Kewpie has been providing educational materials for elementary school nutrition lessons to tell children about the goodness of beans and make them more likeable. We also suggest school meal plans incorporating beans to help children get into the habit of eating this nutritious food.
We are part of a joint public/private-sector project managed by the Consumer Affairs Agency that encourages families to eat breakfast together. Targeting households with children, this project encourages families to spend five minutes chatting together over breakfast in the mornings in the aim of promoting the healthy growth of children.