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A new carbonated beverage with added vitamins, iron and other nutrients, and claims to improve skin health, has been introduced to the Japanese market.

The new carbonated beverage, Chocola BB Sparkling Kiwi and Lemon Flavour, is a product of Japan pharmaceutical firm Eisai Co and entered the market on April 9. It has also been approved as a Food with Nutrient Function Claims by Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency.

Eisai Co first launched the Chocola BB Sparkling series, a range of functional beverages, in 2011. Some of the company’s previous launches include Chocola BB Sparkling + Fibre beverage to boost the user’s intake of dietary fibre.

The new addition claims to maintain a healthy skin and mucosal membranes with a blend of vitamin C, B1, B6, iron, and niacin. The content of the vitamin C is in fact 1,500mg per serving.

“Although the primary target of the product is women in their 20​’​s and 30​’​s, we understand that a wide range of working women enjoy drinking these products. This is because it is​ delicious, refreshing, and enables the easy intake of ingredients that are good for the skin,”​ a company spokesman said in response to queries from NutraIngredients-Asia​.

“The packaging design is also attractive and mood-lifting. The fact that you can easily buy them at shops like convenience stores also contributes to their popularity,” ​he added.

He also said that the calories amount in the new product was also cut by half (24kcal) as compared to the grapefruit and peach flavour.

Amongst the entire Chocola BB offerings, which ranges from tablets to beverages, the flagship Chocola BB Plus is the best-selling product.

The product, which comes in the form of tablets, claims to ease rough skin, acne, and mouth ulcers, and offers a boost of vitamin B2 for times of physical fatigue. It is also a non-prescription drug (third-class OTC drug) in Japan and is also available in Taiwan.

As for the Chocola BB Drink series, the Chocola BB Royal 2 first launched in 2008 is the best-seller.

The product, which is a 50ml vitamin B2 beverage, claims to support the energy production system in the body.

Other Japanese companies which are launching functional beverages include Meiji with its Sokko Genki Jelly drink​ introduced to the market in September last year.

Suntory’s Super CC Lemon is another carbonated drink that claims to relive fatigue. It was approved as a “functional food display product” in Japan.