Perseverance is Rewarded with Development of
an Entirely New Category of Nutrition.
Calorie Mate

Calorie Mate is known as a brand of nutritionally balanced food products. First marketed in 1983 in liquid and block types, the initially developed liquid type has its roots in an earlier product. HINEX-R was a concentrated liquid food for use in medical scenarios. Intravenous solutions are used to supplement nutrition for hospitalized patients following an operation or at other times when they are unable to consume regular food. Furthermore, based on the conviction that oral consumption of balanced nutrition can contribute to early recovery and return to normal life, HINEX-R was the first step in development of an entirely new category of nutrition. This eventually led to the creation of Calorie Mate.

Following intravenous solutions, intubation or oral delivery were determined to be the next hurdles for concentrated nutrition, and researchers focused their efforts on digestibility and nutritional balance. Workshops with medical specialists, collection of clinical data, formulation by trial-and-error – extensive groundwork let to the 1979 launch of HINEX-R, a concentrated nutrition preparation primarily made from rice, a new entry in the category of nutrient preparations for intubation or oral administration. However, the need for balanced nutrition is not only limited to hospitalized patients. Balanced nutrition contributes to maintenance of good health in day-to-day scenarios. Focusing on these needs, HINEX-R became the base for ongoing development that led to the creation of liquid type Calorie Mate, delivering a good balance of five major nutrients (protein, fat, sugars, vitamins and minerals) in a form that anyone could consume.

At the same time, development based on the concept of “breakfast” was also underway. As Japan's period of high economic growth continued, people's lives became increasingly busy and skipping breakfast was common. Efforts to develop “a nutritionally balanced breakfast product that could be consumed quickly,” as well as “a convenient product that could be consumed anytime, anyplace,” led to the creation of the block form of Calorie Mate. The liquid type focused on providing an efficient nutritional supplement, while the block type was based on the concept of “breakfast for busy mornings.” The two types of Calorie Mate were launched in 1983 as Japan's first nutritionally balanced foods, both providing a good balance of five major nutrients.

A nutritionally balanced food: the concept for development of Calorie Mate was clear. However, because the practice of individuals taking control of their own health through self-medication was not widely accepted in the 1980s, Otsuka initially targeted sports. The product characteristics were repeatedly explained to teams, athletes, and researchers and in addition to encouraging athletes to use the products, joint research and other tests were used to gather evidential data. Local sales representatives nationwide searched for scenarios that might benefit from Calorie Mate, traveling throughout Japan to convey the importance of supplementing nutrition and the universal value of nutritionally balanced food products. “Calorie Mate unmistakably facilitates better health.” Because of this belief, and because Otsuka focused significant resources on developing the brand, efforts to forge ahead with Calorie Mate were successful.

In 1991, sales of Calorie Mate took off. The trigger was a diet boom in Japan. Clearly displaying caloric content while delivering necessary nutrients, Calorie Mate earned a following among women wanting to simultaneously control their health and their weight. The brand quickly became a familiar fixture in daily life. This reinforced Otsuka's belief in the potential of nutritionally balanced foods. For consumption during study, stockpiled in case of emergency, as a nutritional supplement for elderly people…Based on valid evidence, this new category of nutrition will continue to support people's lives in a variety of situations.