Back in 1960, 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 World War II.

Almost 55 years later, the Tokyo-based company sees a new opportunity opening up in rapidly aging 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 pureed ready-to-eat meals called the "Gentle Menu," currently sold in specialist sections of drugstores and a small number of supermarkets. Served in plastic pouches, they're aimed at the growing numbers of elderly people who have difficulty chewing and swallowing, but crave the taste of favorites like beef sukiyaki.