The Asia Pacific region is expected to see huge opportunity for growth over the next few years as the nutraceutical and functional food industry sees shifts in lifestyle trends and fitness habits. A report from Allied Market Research indicates consumers are increasingly aware of the health benefits to be found in dietary supplements, botanicals and functional foods, resulting in an estimated 7.33 percent CAGR. Innova Market Insights found 16 percent of global supplement launches in 2015 came from Asia, up from 11 percent in 2013.
The Asia-Pacific probiotics market is the largest globally, according to a 2017 report from Mordor Intelligence, accounting for an estimated share of 38 percent in 2016. Japan currently holds the title for largest probiotics market in Asia, with an estimated 45 percent in 2016, and the Chinese market is booming, with growth surpassing the global average of 8 percent with 20 percent predicted growth. This can be attributed to increasing awareness of the benefits of probiotics – a vital component that has catapulted the Southeast Asian market into the league of the European and North American markets.
For more information on the digestive health market in Asia, read this blog by Dr Susan Jin from DuPont Nutrition and Health.
Research from the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED) shows Asia counts for 36 percent of the global omega-3 finished products market. Growth through 2017 Is projected to be 5 percent on a global basis, with double digit growth expected in Asia. Baby milk formula is the leading category for innovation in food and drink and Asia Pacific has the greatest opportunity due to strong rise in consumer spending.
Understanding local market dynamics and regulations is extremely important in Asia, as there is no harmonised regulatory body yet. In Asia Pacific, there are no clear guidelines for recommended daily intakes (RDIs) of omega fatty acids, compared to Europe where approved health claims are linked closely to RDIs. Omega-3s are fortunate to have a large body of science to support their benefits, but some countries are reluctant to entertain claims in general. This does mean there is significant opportunity to develop omega-3 science in Asia, particularly if the industry becomes more active in investing in high-quality research.
There is clearly huge potential for supplements and fortified food and drink products using omega-3s.
For a case study on regulations surrounding omega-3 supplements, listen to this podcast with Dr Harry Rice from GOED about the U-turn on restrictions in Indonesia. Visit the Omega-3 Resource Centre at Vitafoods Asia 2017 to discover the latest innovation and product development for omega-3s in Asia.
Personalised nutrition is rapidly emerging as a key issue for the long-term future of the industry. The trend reflects the emergence of new possibilities such as individualised dietary guidelines, wearable technology and personalised nutrition based on genetic testing. As a new category, however, there are some challenges. Expensive testing methods and a lack of experts are stunting the growth of nutrigenomics and personalised nutrition in the Asia Pacific region. Nutrigenomic testing is becoming more affordable, but is still inaccessible to most consumers across the region because of the cost and although the field is expanding globally, there are few medical practitioners specialising in this in Asia. Personalised nutrition is gaining traction among consumers in the Asia Pacific region—there is a market for nutrigenomics and individualised products. Herbalife’s Asia Pacific Balanced Nutrition Survey found a third of consumers are interested in personalised nutrition, and another third indicated they would want to take supplements to achieve their nutrition goals.
For more information on the personalised nutrition category in Asia, listen to this podcast with Dr Iris Hardewig from analyze & realize. Register for Vitafoods Asia 2017 to attend her session on the Vitafoods Asia Innovation Theatre.