NutraIngredients-Asia state of the industry survey part 2: Raft of new regulations broadly welcomed by the sector

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Our respondents believe the majority of the new regulations are positive for the industry.
Our respondents believe the majority of the new regulations are positive for the industry.

Related tags South east asia Southeast asia East asia Japan

The raft of new supplement and functional food regulations introduced in the past two years, or those imminently pending, have been broadly welcomed by the industry in APAC, according to the findings of our inaugural State of the Supplements, Health & Nutrition Survey.

The past two years have seen several high-profile regulatory changes in China and Japan, with others soon to be enforced in India.

Bearing in mind these often effect exports, as well as domestic products, we collated survey responses from industry professionals across our readership on topics such as market conditions, investment and employment, trading relationships, industry initiatives, and regional snapshots, including South East Asia, India, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand.

Our respondents, drawn from manufacturers, suppliers, researchers, regulatory affairs and marketing, were largely supportive of the changes in rules that have come into force.

Take China, where there have been numerous regulatory developments in the past two years. According to 75% of our respondents in the country, the new rules from regulator CFDA around functional foods, nutrition, e-commerce and infant formula are positive steps for the industry.

Unsurprisingly, these changes were not so broadly welcomed in Australia and New Zealand, where chopping and changing regulations around e-commerce have hit the major supplement and infant formula brands. In these two countries, 35% of those surveyed said this has been a negative development for their business.

Functional claims

Meanwhile, in Japan, the nation’s stringent FOSHU regulations have long maintained the credibility of the industry in the country both regionally and globally. However, it has often been claimed that this severely restricts new product development, as well as the ability of brands to effectively communicate with consumers.

That’s likely why 75% of those surveyed in Japan said the country’s new, more relaxed Food with Function Claims has helped increase innovation and new product launch

And finally, in India, where regulator FSSAI has been developing detailed regulations across the supplement, functional food, and food for special use categories, more than 80% said the new rules would benefit the industry. That said, on a broader level, there are still widespread concerns about the impact of new GST rules​ on supplement sales.

The power of positive regulations is perhaps best articulated in South East Asia, where many in the industry are clamouring for a greater harmonised ASEAN framework. More than 65% of those surveyed said their company was already planning ahead for this eventuality.

Download the full report here.

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