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Life expectancy in Japan is 81 years for men and 87 years for women*.
Within these, expectancies for healthy life, when individuals are able to live independently, are said to be as much as ten years shorter. We focused on this healthy life expectancy, wishing to help people find beauty and happiness at any age, and to enjoy a bright, healthy and vibrant life with the support of Q’SAI.

*Source: Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare ‘Abridged Life Tables for Japan 2016’

Production story

- Turning customer needs into products -

‘Hiza Support Collagen’ (hiza: knee),
conceived out of concern for a mother’s health

This product was conceived by a female staff member, involved in product development at the time, out of concern for her mother’s health. “Recently, my mother often says that she has trouble lifting heavy things, or picking up her grandson when he comes to play. Seeing my dispirited mother, I wanted to do something for her; at the same time, I didn’t really know what I could do. One thought was that a focus on beauty would serve as a distraction, so I asked her to test a collagen product we were working on. That’s how it started.” This came about because, at the time, Q’SAI was engaged in R&D for a new follow-up product to powdered Aojiru, and had begun work on developing collagen products, which were starting to gain attention for their beauty benefits. Collagen was still generally considered as a beauty ingredient; the staff member herself says she had “no idea that it could help to solve my mother’s knee movement issues.”

“For some reason, I’m feeling better lately,” came her mother’s cheerful phone call. Although she had been feeling down for some time and going outside had become too troublesome, the mother now returned to her usual lively self, embarking on daily walks. Seeing this, the staff member wondered if the collagen may be responsible, and set about re-investigating its components and effects. This led to the discovery of collagen’s new potential in enabling smoother knee movement. It also brought her attention to hyaluronic acid, which includes in cartilage, and she set about developing collagen health food products. Development progressed well, requiring only six months before the product was released. It goes without saying that this exceptionally rapid launch was made possible by the various troubles and efforts of all development, sales and factory staff who were prepared to work around the clock.

While recommended daily intake was set at 5 g, we decided to create a powdered type that could be mixed into other drinks, such as coffee or miso soup, allowing the collagen to be taken without unnecessary worrying over quantities.
The greatest hurdles were flavor and aroma. Following the Q’SAI policy of ‘not adding anything superfluous’ by producing only collagen and hyaluronic acid means that a characteristic flavor and odor will remain. However, in order to aid regular daily intake, we were completely dedicated to creating a product that could be added to water or tea without any unpleasant flavors or odors.

モノづくりSTORY

Product creation begins with the customer

Some six months after launch, we began to receive support from a gradually-growing number of repeat customers. Since then, pleased customers have encouraged others, making the product a hit. Receiving feedback from many customers, Q’SAI’s collagen products then underwent various developments, including the addition of chondroitin, which includes in cartilage, and improved packaging. Collagen research and technology cultivated through our health food products also gave us the confidence to share with the world our cola-rich series of skincare products with collagen moisturizing ingredients.

“‘Hiza Support Collagen’ (hiza: knee) was truly a product nurtured by customers. It grew into a product that continues to be loved by many, regardless of age or gender. Nothing makes me happier. However, even greater than that is the strong sense of mission that arises from customers saying that the product is essential to their daily life - we must continue striving to fulfill their expectations with even better quality.” (female staff member)

From April 2015, a new food labeling system began for ‘Foods with Function Claims’. Under this system, a company may apply to the Consumer Affairs Agency prior to launching a product with scientifically-proven functions (effects). The company is responsible for providing information to back its claims of the product’s safety and functions, and only those accepted by the agency may be sold as ‘Foods with Function Claims’.

Beloved by many customers since its launch in 2004, Hyaluronic Acid Collagen was accepted by the Consumer Affairs Agency under this system. At the same time, the product was renamed ‘Hiza Support Collagen’ (hiza: knee) to clearly convey its function in assisting knee joint movement, and the packaging re-designed. With collagen peptide as the active ingredient, it became Japan’s first Foods with Function Claims in the knee joints category.

In 2018, collagen health food products boasted ‘No.1 Online Sales for 10 Consecutive Years*’, having grown into one of Q’SAI’s signature healthcare products alongside Kale Aojiru.

*FY2007 ~ FY2016, based on shipment of collagen health food products in the mail-order market.Report by Yano Research Institute Ltd., November 2017 (dietary supplements, including existing products).
Unlike ‘Food for Specific Health Uses’, these products are not individually examined by the director of the Consumer Affairs Agency.

モノづくりSTORY

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