Otsuka product development stories

ORONAMIN C DRINK Product story

The beverage loved for more than half a century

Sparked by the idea of developing a carbonated nutritional beverage, the product has since become a favorite among people of all ages and is enjoyed in many countries worldwide.

A carbonated nutritional drink that faced numerous challenges

ORONAMIN C DRINK was first launched in February 1965, during a period that had seen the establishment of a big market for medicinal drinks. Against that background, we had also launched a series of pharmaceutical nutrition drinks, but noted that the industry had tended to prioritize efficacy over taste. This prompted us to start research into a new kind of beverage, unlike any available at the time; it would not only be both nutritional and delicious to drink, but would also be carbonated. However, when registering the new product as a medicinal health drink with the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare at the time, we were told that "carbonated drinks cannot be classed as medicinal". We then faced the decision of either sacrificing the taste and removing the carbonation, or prioritizing the taste and releasing it as a soft drink. We chose the latter, launching it as a "carbonated nutritional beverage."
Distribution then brought up another question: should we limit sales to our existing clients - pharmacies - or expand our distribution network to also include food retailers? With about 1.6 million general retailers nationwide at the time, even capturing just a quarter of the market would lead to sales in 400,000 outlets, 10 times the number of pharmacies supplied. Naturally, pharmacies that sold our medicinal products such as Oronine H Ointment and other medicines pushed back, but convinced that it would ultimately benefit them too our employees worked hard to build connections with retail stores nationwide. This led to our sales channels expanding to not only include food retailers, but also to other industries such as restaurants, hotels, railways, public baths, and golf courses. With its catchphrase of "Genki Hatsuratsu (Full of Vitality)!", ORONAMIN C Drink has become a much-loved favorite, enjoyed by multiple generations.

An international cross-generational favorite

While the ingredients, branding, price*, and catchphrase of ORONOMIN C DRINK have hardly changed since it first went on sale in 1965, the packaging has been updated in line with modern safety and environmental considerations. The marketing has also changed so as to remain fresh and in keeping with modern times and trends, and the drink is now enjoyed in nine countries and regions.

  • *The price at the time of release was 100 yen, making it seem expensive at a time when other soft drinks were about 30 yen.

ORONAMIN C DRINK is a carbonated nutritional drink that contains vitamins including vitamin C. The optimal 120ml size refreshes the mouth and throat, with a fresh feeling that expands with every gulp you take.