We believe that as a consumer-oriented company, it is important to support the pursuit of a balanced lifestyle both in body and mind. Our consumers have different needs and preferences at different life stages, and through our diverse business activities, the Suntory Group will support consumer wellness at each of those stages. By offering choice in products, services and experiences through our soft drinks, health foods, alcohol and other businesses, as well as by innovating in relevant fields, we will support the wellbeing and balanced lifestyles of our consumers.
Suntory Beverage & Food
In order to support the healthy lifestyles of our consumers, Suntory Beverage & Food will pursue various consumer-centric initiatives in line with the following Health Policy.
1.In order to satisfy the health needs of consumers worldwide, we will continue to expand our portfolio of products which satisfy your taste buds, body and mind, as well as provide services to contribute to healthy and positive lifestyles.
2.We will perform research that contributes to the health of consumers and will develop more natural, healthy products for world by using the expertise we have cultivated in Japan over many years in developing beverages which are sugar-free, low-sugar, and fortified for better health.
3.We will base labeling and communication on the guidelines from government agencies and industry groups in each country and region, and will endeavor to make it easier for consumers to select healthy beverages.
4.We will contribute to solving global health issues through joint research with external specialized institutions and through other communication with various stakeholders.
Developing Food for Specified Health Uses Based on Research
Suntory currently offers a variety of products known as food for specified health uses (FOSHU*) due to their positive health benefits. This portfolio lineup includes Black Oolong Tea OTPP, which was developed based on research results to apply prevention of fat absorption in polymerized polyphenols of oolong tea characteristics; Suntory Goma Mugicha(Barley Tea), which is suitable for people with high blood pressure; Pepsi Special, which prevents fat absorption; and Tokucha (FOSHU Iyemon), which is the world's first drink to clarify the lipolytic action of quercetin glycoside. Our portfolio also includes other products which contribute to our consumers’ well-being, such as Iyemon Plus, Functional beverage which has the ability to lower bad cholesterol (LDL). For all of our products, we pay special attention to taste, and we will continue conducting product research and development to ensure that products both taste good and are good for you.
*Foods for Specified Health Uses
Expanding Our Lineup of Products that are Healthy for the Mind and Body
For decades the expansion of the world beverage market has been driven by consumer demand for drinks, especially carbonated products, which contain large amounts of sugar. In recent years, there has been an accelerating shift in demand toward healthier and more natural drinks. Utilizing knowledge gained through many years of research in Japan regarding the development of low- and no-sugar beverages (such as tea and water), we are developing new beverages that are healthy for the mind and body.
In Vietnam we released Tea+ Oolong Tea, an oolong tea with Oolong Tea Polymerized Polyphenols (OTPP) that reduce fat absorption and mitigate the raise of neutral fat in blood, and in Indonesia we released MYTEA Oolong Tea. Both of these products have been received positively by consumers. We have also released a low-sugar iced tea called MayTea in Europe. MayTea comes in a variety of flavors and was developed using Suntory’s expertise in tea products.
In addition to beverages, we also offer heath foods. Under the BRAND’s umbrella, we offer the much-loved Essence of Chicken supplement drink in Thailand and other Asian countries. Essence of Chicken is an all-natural extract made of fine quality chicken without artificial chemicals or preservatives.
Initiatives on Low- and No-Sugar Products
Suntory Beverage & Food is developing products that contain amounts as minimal as possible of sugar, artificial coloring, and artificial flavoring. In Europe, we have set a target to reduce the use of sugar in all our products by 35% by 2025 compared to 2015. We have already made progress toward this goal, and as the end of 2021, we have succeeded in reducing the amount of sugar used in our products by 23% compared to 2015. As well as re-formulating our drinks to lower the sugar content we are also putting investment behind our lower-calorie brand such as Lucozade Zero in the UK.
Across all European Export and Commercial Markets, the amount of sugar added to our beverages was reduced by 6% in 2021.
In the UK and Ireland we’ve reduced sugar across our core drink range by 57%, removing 25,000 tonnes of sugar and 98BN calories through a far-reaching reformulation programme. We’ve been bold with our decisions on our most famous drinks, introducing a zero or low-calorie alternative for each one of them.
In 2021, the total reduction of sugar was - 24% compared to 2006 on Oasis in France, without using sweeteners. All the recipes of the brand are renovated with less sugar and no sweetener while still retaining a delicious taste that consumers know and love!
In Spain we have managed to reduce the sugar in our drinks by 42% (vs 2015) and we have also introduced low calorie Schweppes Lemon, Orange, Pink, Ginger Ale, and recently/in 2022 also Agrum and Tonic Lemon.
In Oceania, we aim to increase the portion of our portfolio that is low- and no-sugar to 1/3 by 2030. As a road map for achieving the goal, we will promote 1) Lower sugar through innovation, leveraging Suntory Group relationship 2) Introduce greater choice through new products, 3)Continue to introduce smaller pack sizes. As of 2020, 20% of the drinks including energy drink V have become low, or contain no sugar.
Reducing Artificial Coloring and Flavors
We focus on developing products that use a minimal amount of artificial colorings and flavors. In Europe, we have set a target to remove artificial colous and flavors by 2025. In France, our product Oasis was renewed to a recipe which uses less sugar and only 100% natural ingredients. In UK, Lucozade Revive is made from natural fruit flavors and does not use any artificial coloring.
In Indonesia, our product Good Mood is a popular low sugar beverage made from natural fruit extracts and does not include any preservatives, synthetic coloring, or synthetic sweeteners.
Appropriate Information Disclosure
Suntory Group strives to offer information related to safety and reliability to the customers in an appropriate and timely manner. We also indicate information on product labels, commercials, and ads in a way that is clear and avoid misunderstanding. Furthermore, Suntory Group’s Code of Business Ethics stipulates that we must conduct responsible marketing as a corporate group that offers diverse products and services.
We promote the display of accurate product information in a way that is accessible and easily understood by consumers. In order to ensure the accuracy of product information, we collaborate with the related divisions in charge of development and production, and also confirm the compliancy and accuracy of disclosed information through our Quality Assurance Division.
In Japan, Suntory conducts thorough reviews of raw ingredients used in our products in order to display energy, carbohydrates, and sodium chloride (salt equivalent) as well as confirm the need for allergen labeling. We are sure to include not just the 7 items required by law to be shown on our labels, but the 20 items recommended to be displayed.
In Oceania, adapting the Health Star Rating* food labeling scheme for the customers to make choices on which product to choose.
*Health Star Rating System…A front-of-pack labeling system that ranks and labels packaged food's overall nutrition profile from half a star to five stars.
In Suntory Beverage & Food Europe, we participate in UNESDA’s* responsible marketing in schools program.
We have become a founding signatory of the new EU Code of Conduct on Responsible Food Business and Marketing Practices in 2021. Our commitments towards reformulation of our drinks, food waste reduction and the creation of sustainable packaging fully support the EU’s objective to place healthier products on the market and to support the transition towards a circular economy.
The UK has created its own voluntary marketing code to ensure that responsible corporate citizenship is at the heart of everything we do. This includes our commitment not to directly market products categorised as high in fat, sugar and salt (“HFSS”) to consumers who are under the age of 16, and under the age of 18 in Ireland.
In France, we volunteered in 2009 to not communicate on screens and in magazines aimed specifically at children under the age of 12-year-old. Since 2013, our commitments go further because we prohibit all advertising in generalist programmes where children constitute more than 35% of the audience.
In Spain, our code of marketing practice specifically states that we do not advertise to children under 12 years of age or sponsor events aimed at children in schools. We also convey messages in all our advertising campaigns promoting healthy lifestyle habits.
In Oceania, we are ensuring our marketing activities are responsible and do not actively target children. Also we partnered with New Zealand government as part of the Healthy Kids Industry Pledge. We directly sell only water to primary and intermediate schools in New Zealand.
* UNESDA = Union of EU (European Union) Soft Drinks Associations
Proposal of Healthier Lifestyle
In accordance with our aim to be a company which promotes consumer well-being, in 2018 we launched the "100 Year Life Project" in Japan. This project supports consumers in their efforts to achieve healthy and positive lifestyles in line with their own goals. We also promote joint research with external experts; research and development to strengthen our portfolio of beverages that address lifestyle diseases; programs to improve lifestyle habits; and other initiatives.
In Europe, we published the Moving on Health and Wellbeing report and are promoting various initiatives such as: providing active lifestyle programs to approximately one million people; reducing the amount of sugar used in our major brands by half; engaging with employees to develop more effective health programs in the office; and promoting the physical and mental wellbeing of all employees in the workplace.
Suntory Wellness Ltd. was launched as a company that runs the Suntory Group’s health and wellness business. Suntory Wellness Ltd. is committed to contributing to the realization of a "healthy, beautiful, and mindful life - a wellness lifestyle.
Sesamin – From Unraveling Function to the Launch of Heath Food Product
Sesame is often said to be good for one’s health, and we took on the challenge of analyzing its specific benefits. In particular, we performed scientific analysis on the health benefits of sesamin, a minor component of sesame lignan present in sesame. As a result of our research, we were able to launch our first health supplement in product in 1993.
Thereafter, we released Sesamin EX—a more potent version of the initial supplement comprised of a combination with vitamin E, tocotrienol, and Oriza Plus, a component derived from brown rice.
Suntory Wellness Ltd. also sells a wide range of other health foods.
Promoting Communication with Customers
We are delivering a wide-range of information to customers through our website and booklets