Vast opportunities for China sports nutrition innovation: Glanbia

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Sports nutrition launches in Asia have recorded a CAGR of 21.1% over the past five years. ©iStock
Sports nutrition launches in Asia have recorded a CAGR of 21.1% over the past five years. ©iStock

Related tags Nutrition

Glanbia has showcased three ready-to-manufacture concepts designed to tap into China's rising sports and active lifestyle nutrition sectors, which is still largely dominated by pre- and post-exercise powders.

They include a ready-to drink product for weight management and muscle mass, and a hot beverage designed to boost satiety and protein consumption.

Glanbia's Yiting Xu told us that sports and active lifestyle nutrition was starting to take off and move into the mainstream.

"It is a growing market and has really big potential, so we wanted to be able to show manufacturers some of the new opportunities we can help them with," ​she said.

The first concept, branded Muscle Mocha, features the firm's SatieTien and Pro Therma products.

The latter is a heat-stable protein that can withstand brewing temperatures, making it suitable for hot drinks.

Xu said it is highly soluble, does not clump, and has a high protein ratio of 85g/100g.

Meanwhile, SatieTein, a specifically formulated milk protein isolate made to slow down digestion and increase satiety, was showcased at the recent FI Asia show in Bangkok.

The second concept, Lean Start, is a chocolate drink designed for female consumers that features Glanbia's ProLibra ingredient, a whey-derived ingredient that targets fat loss for healthy weight management.

Xu said two independent trials have shown that Prolibra significantly decreases fat mass while retaining lean body mass. A third trial demonstrated that Prolibra significantly reduces postprandial glycaemic response.

Sports launches

The final concept was Protein Power, a traditional powdered post-exercise recovery product.

According to Xu, it is important to show Chinese and global brands how they can benefit from Chinese consumers' growing interest in health and wellness.

Data from Innova Market Insights showed that tracked sports nutrition launches in Asia have recorded a CAGR of 21.1% over the past five years, outperforming global growth (10.5% CAGR).

Furthermore, the top five countries for sports nutrition in Asia — based on launches tracked from 2014 to 2016 — are China, Malaysia, India, Indonesia and the Philippines.

That said, in China, sports powders account for nearly half of all new product launches, meaning there is considerable scope for new product innovation.

Ready-to-drink products, for example, accounted for just 3% of new product launches in China's sports nutrition category from 2014 to 2016.

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