• Nna/kyodo


Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. has launched its popular vitamin drink Oronamin C in Indonesia to cash in on growing demand from health-conscious consumers in Southeast Asia’s most populous country.

PT Amerta Indah Otsuka, the Japanese firm’s local manufacturing and sales affiliate, started shipping the drink earlier this month from a plant in Jakarta with the aim of selling 260 million bottles per year — or almost a bottle for every person in the country — according to the company.

The 120-ml carbonated energy drink, which contains vitamin C equivalent to 11 lemons, B2 and B6, as well as other nutrients, is available with a price tag of 5,000 rupiah (34 cents) at various retailers from supermarkets to traditional markets, the local unit said.

Yoshihiro Bando, president director of the affiliate, said at a launch event in Jakarta that Oronamin C will help address health problems for a wide range of people including business people, housewives and youngsters, supporting a “healthy lifestyle in Indonesian society.”

The company declined to disclose the level of investment and production capacity for the beverage at the plant in Sukabumi Regency, West Java Province, which also produces nutraceutical drinks such as Pocari Sweat and its low calorie variation — ion water.

Haruka Nakagawa, a former member of the Jakarta-based all-female idol group JKT48, was appointed as promotional ambassador. Ads are promoting the product on television and social media.

Oronamin C was first released in Japan in 1965, a year after the company’s establishment, and its accumulated domestic sales topped 30 billion bottles in 2011, with an annual average of over 650 million bottles.

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