YES, really. Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) has gone to the dogs. But of course that’s good news to the Philippine virgin coconut oil producers and exporters.
At the recent National Coconut Investment Summit held at the Asian Institute of Management, Rico Numano, president and CEO of U-Ene Philippines, revealed that pet dogs are a potential big market for VCO in Japan. VCO has been observed not only to be healthful for the dogs but it makes them calm. It could prevent unnecessary howling at night time which could disturb the neighborhood. Dogs, he said, are a favorite pet of the Japanese and there must be more dogs than children in the average Japanese household. Dogs in Japan are sometimes given better treatment than children. They are also given snacks during the daytime. Numano places the dog market for food supplement which includes VCO at $8.5 billion a year.
Two other markets in Japan are being served by Numano. These are the alzheimers and dementia patients. VCO is known to improve the condition of such patients. His mother, he said, is one senior lady who regularly takes VCO to keep her fit. He said that there are 4.6 million dementia and alzheimers patients in Japan and another 4 million candidate. There are 6,000 elderly facilities where VCO can be distributed.
VCO as a functional food also has a huge market. Food supplement requirement in Japan is placed at $16.9 billion.
Numano related the keen interest of the Japanese in VCO. Their latest shipment of 800 jars of 470 ml each were wll gone in less than an hour. Their VCO carries the brand Cocobest.
Numano’s company will be cooperating closely with Philippine cooperatives that will produce VCO for exclusive export to Japan. The company is budgeting P10 million for investment in cooperatives so they will have working capital. They will also launch a program to rehabilitate under producing coconut trees.