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Immune support drives consumers toward botanical medicines in APAC

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Consumers across the APAC region are turning to botanical medicines for health effects, but continue to cite safety and sustainability as important considerations.

Regulation, sustainability, quality and reputation top the list of concerns related to botanical medicines in the APAC region, according to AI analysis conducted by INTPACT and presented at Vitafoods Asia Digital Week in early February 2021.

INTPACT, a market intelligence organisation, used advanced search queries and web scanning, combined with descriptive analytics and tagging to assess issues related to the botanical market. Among the questions guiding the analysis were top sourcing concerns, whether Chinese consumers are considering sustainability, and what the most popular botanical medicines are in Asia. The firm looked at 43,000 media posts on the topic in English language, and 195,000 in Chinese language, in January 2021.

Based on media publications, INTPACT determined 55% of the top concerns were health and safety (19%), R&D (15.2%), sustainability (14.7%) and quality (13.6%). However, the greatest growth in type of insight related to botanical medicine was supply chain and manufacturing, posting an 89% increase between December 2020 and January 2021.

When assessing popular ingredients based on media coverage, ginseng was by far the most popular, logging 57.6% of mentions, the vast majority of which were neutral. Cordyceps was in second place at 15.8% of mentions, but showed a much higher ratio of positive reporting to neutral. Additional ingredients of interest were Ginkgo biloba and garlic.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the winter season and pandemic, immunity was the top reason cited for the use of botanical medicines among consumers in China. Assessing reporting, immunity was the goal of 57% of consumers, followed by the interconnected conditions of weight loss (15.6%), diabetes (13.1%) and obesity (9.6%). When cross-linking to ingredients, ginseng, garlic and cordyceps were by far most associated with immunity; Ginkgo biloba’s top effects based on reporting was for weight loss (30.2%), followed by immunity (23.8%).

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