Vitafoods Asia exhibitors flag hot investment opportunities and diverse market conditions
01 Feb 2021 --- Home to around 60 percent of the global population, Asia represents a vast and promising region for nutraceutical companies to make their mark. Key themes include healthy aging and immunity, although demands vary significantly between regions – and even within countries.
Ahead of Vitafoods Asia Digital Week, taking place online February 2-4, NutritionInsight speaks to some leading exhibitors about the considerations and opportunities for this continent.
“Asia is a huge market both for F&B and supplements thanks to the large and growing population and also to the rising awareness for healthy diet,” says Julie Imperato, Nexira’s marketing manager.
Sara Dorna, business development manager at Giellepi, adds that the market is rapidly growing. “European companies need to make big investments and a major effort to face this opportunity.”
“Only companies with a more premium profile will find a good match in Asia. Brands are looking for high-quality ingredients backed by clinical studies, and this is exactly what we are offering to these markets,” says Julia Díaz, head of marketing at Pharmactive.
A diverse market
However, the “Asian market” as such does actually not exist, argues Oliver Wolf, head of B2B marketing at Gelita.
“Asia is very diverse, and what is hot in China does not necessarily attract people in Japan. Meanwhile, the latest trend in Thailand could be just a gentle breeze in Singapore,” says Wolf.
Rudi de Man, vice president of Europe and Asia sales at NattoPharma, notes that supplements in general have strong growth in all Asian markets.
“However, we see a country like Vietnam taking the lead in new delivery platforms like in fortified dairy, which requires specialized solutions from us as a vitamin K2 partner.”
NZMP also develops ingredients to meet the needs of specific markets. For example, it created its Regular Whole Milk Powder for Tea specifically for the Indian subcontinent, explains Hamish Gowans, general manager of NZMP South & East Asia.
It dissolves quickly and easily in hot tea while retaining a creamy flavor and whitening properties.
However, one challenge that many companies active in Asia have in common is overcoming the weather conditions. De Man notes that NattoPharma has to adapt product solutions to higher humidity levels in certain Asian markets.
“Asia is hotter and more humid. Product stability, which is made more challenging when dealing with a natural ingredient, is a key consideration when formulating for Asia,” adds Chris Johnson, managing director of Anagenix.
Regulation is also a crucial consideration for success across different countries. Dorna says that navigating cultural gaps and different regulatory rules are some of Giellepi’s biggest challenges.
“As Asia is an extensive area, there are marked differences between countries with regards to regulatory requirements and to flavors and formats preference,” adds Díaz.
For example, Pharmactive’s Affron, a saffron extract for mood and sleep improvement, has approved claims in Japan.
“We consider the different requirements the local agencies demand when designing protocols of clinical studies to perfectly adapt to them. In some cases, we have carried out specific studies to help our customers comply with all the requirements from their authorities,” details Díaz.
Immunity and healthy aging on show
One major theme at Vitafoods Asia Digital Week will be immunity.
“COVID-19 has heightened consumer awareness that diets and lifestyles could impact on their health and immunity. As such, consumers will look to take a proactive approach and seek to improve their overall diets and vulnerability to illnesses. Dairy has a key role to play given its established health credentials,” Gowans.
As a result, NZMP will be highlighting its immunity-supporting dairy ingredients such as lactoferrin and probiotic strains.
Asia is forecast to be home to a major proportion of the world’s senior population by 2060, according to NZMP. This group of people is often at higher risk of malnutrition and sarcopenia, creating a clear need for good nutrition.
In this space, Gelita is putting its spotlight on its bioactive collagen peptides (BCP). They can be used for healthy aging applications like maintaining ability, as well as tapping into sports nutrition, immunity or beauty-from-within needs.
Also applicable to healthy aging, Nattopharma is highlighting MenaQ7 vitamin K2 as the “Better Together” ingredient that enables stronger claims in bone formulations when combined with vitamin D3.
Finally, KWD+ is among Pharmactive’s offerings. The kiwi extract targets sarcopenia and protein digestion in the aged population.
By Katherine Durrell
To contact our editorial team please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Subscribe now to receive the latest news directly into your inbox.