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Health-minded adults stir trend in powdered milk

Courtesy of Bean Stalk Snow Co.

Milk soup with maitake mushroom

By Sanae Nokura / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff WriterAdults can now enjoy powdered milk products just for them, presented in similar packages to those for babies but featuring a wide range of nutrients and various flavors. Powdered milk geared toward adults appears to be most popular among health-conscious middle-aged and elderly people, who drink it with their daily meals.

“I mix it with [ordinary] milk,” said a company executive in his 40s in Minato Ward, Tokyo. “It tastes richer.”

The executive said he drinks Miruku Seikatsu (Milk Life), a powdered milk product for adults from Tokyo-based Morinaga Milk Industry Co., almost every morning.

The company’s product is an original blend of ingredients, including bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria. Morinaga says it contains more calcium and iron than powdered milk for babies.

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  • Courtesy of Bean Stalk Snow Co. Bean Stalk Snow

    Milk spread

  • Courtesy of Bean Stalk Snow Co. Bean Stalk Snow

    Bean Stalk Snow Co.’s powdered milk for babies, left, and for adults

The company executive said he learned about the product from a friend and decided to try it, thinking it could be good for his health. Now his wife, also in her 40s, and his eldest son, a first-year junior high school student, also love drinking it.

Powdered milk for babies is used as an alternative to breast milk. It contains a good balance of nutrients babies need, such as protein, fat and calcium. Because of this, a remarkable number of adults also drink powdered milk meant for babies, believing that the nutritional benefits could also be good from them.

Morinaga Milk Industry Co. received many comments from consumers who love drinking the company’s powdered milk products for babies.

“I mix it in with my coffee,” said a man in his 80s. A woman in her 60s said, “I have gone through a can [of the powdered milk for babies] every month for the past 10 years.”

The company received about 100 such comments annually. It began selling powdered milk for adults exclusively by mail-order in October last year, touting it as a product that fulfills the nutritional requirements of adults.

“We created a gentle, sweet flavor with a refreshing taste so adults can continue drinking it every day with ease,” said Satoru Kobishi, who was in charge of the development of the product.

The company said about 80 percent of the people buying the powdered milk products are women, and 90 percent of that group are in their 50s or older.

Bean Stalk Snow Co., based in Tokyo, also released a powdered milk-type supplement product, Platinum Milk, in September for middle-aged and elderly consumers.

The product comes in various flavors: regular milk, with 11 kinds of vitamins added; matcha, with calcium and other nutritional supplements; and soup with royal jelly, a nutrient-rich substance produced by honey bees.

Tokyo-based Kyushin Pharmaceutical Co. produces Otona no Kona Miruku (Powdered milk for adults), a yogurt-flavored powdered milk. The company created the product in response to a number of comments from middle-aged and elderly consumers who said it was difficult for them to drink a cup of fresh milk every day.

The company developed a powdered milk that can dissolve in a smaller quantity of water than usual. It claims people are able to consume calcium, vitamins and other nutrients more efficiently by drinking their product.

Powdered milk for adults is more popular among middle-aged and elderly people, who tend to be more conscious about their health than other age groups.

Last year, JMA Research Institute Inc., based in Tokyo, conducted a survey on basic health needs. A total of 1,280 people from their teens to their 70s responded. The older the respondents were, the higher the percentage who ate nutritionally balanced meals.

Especially among women in their 50s or older, more than 60 percent of the respondents said they regularly ate nutritionally balanced meals. A similar tendency was seen in the percentages of those who had health-conscious dietary habits, such as taking supplements.

“Such people belong to generations where education about nutritional balance began in earnest through school lunches,” said Setsuo Sakamoto, a senior producer at Hakuhodo Inc.’s Institute of Elder Knowledge and New Adult Culture. “So their interest in dietary habits and nutrition is high. Probably from their own experience raising children or grandchildren, powdered milk is familiar and gives them a sense of security. So it seems they feel it is no big deal to buy and use the products.”

Add powdered milk to meals

Powdered milk for adults can also be used as an ingredient in meals. Keiko Kawauchi, an official of Bean Stalk Snow’s product development division, recommended a couple of ways to use the regular milk flavor of the company’s Platinum Milk product.

Milk spread

Mix 3 tablespoons of powdered milk, 1 teaspoon of sugar and 2 teaspoons of hot water. The mixture can be used like jam and spread on bread, among other things.

Milk soup with maitake

Ingredients (serves 2):

¼onion / 1 pack of maitake mushrooms / 1 consomme soup stock cube / 6 tbsp of powdered milk.

Directions:

1. Thinly slice the onion. Break the maitake into chunks

2. Heat butter in a pan and stir-fry the ingredients prepared in Step 1. Then add a pinch of salt and pepper.

3. Add 300 ml of water and the consomme cube into the pan and simmer.

4. When the ingredients have cooled, add the powdered milk and heat until completely dissolved.

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