Kewpie, Japan’s famous mayonnaise and baby food manufacturer, adapts its offerings to feed an ageing nation.
Back in 1960, Japan’s Kewpie Corp began selling canned baby food, sensing a chance to catch a wave of young families raising kids in an economy roaring back to growth after the devastation of WWII. Almost 55 years later, the Tokyo-based company sees a new opportunity opening up in rapidly ageing Japan as parents who brought kids up on Kewpie approach their sunset years – what it calls “nursing care food” for the elderly.
Kewpie says it’s on the brink of turning a profit on a range of stewed or puréed ready-to-eat meals called Gentle Menu, currently sold in specialist sections of drug-stores and a small number of supermarkets. Served in plastic pouches, they’re aimed at the growing numbers of elderly Japanese who have difficulty chewing and swallowing, but crave the taste of favourites like beef sukiyaki.