The top five ingredients driving Australia's supplement boom revealed at China expo

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Calcium is the third fastest-growing ingredient in Asutralia. ©iStock
Calcium is the third fastest-growing ingredient in Asutralia. ©iStock
Australia's five fastest-growing supplement ingredients have been revealed, with the board president of industry trade body Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA) telling a summit in Shanghai that "much of these are destined for Asia, and China in particular".

Dusko Pejnovic, who is also the CEO of Lipa Pharmaceuticals, underlined how important the China market was to Australian supplements industry in a keynote speech at the recent HI China show.

He explained how the organisation’s latest industry audit showed the sector was now responsible for revenues of $4.9bn, a $2bn increase over the last five years.

Of this, vitamin and dietary supplements accounts for $2.77bn, sports nutrition $1bn, herbal and traditional products, $1bn and weight loss items $0.43bn.

Much of the growth in the sector can be attributed to an exports boom to many Asian countries, but especially China.

Pejnovic drew particular attention to this when he revealed the top five fastest-growing ingredients, telling delegates: When you at look behind the figures, you see a lot of these items are heading to Asia.”

The top performing ingredients are:

1)      Probiotics -  10.2% annual growth

2)      Propolis – 9.6%

3)      Calcium 9.1%

4)      Chlorophyll  7.4%

5)      Cranberry  6.9%

The CMA audit also found that the sector was responsible for 13,200 direct high-skilled jobs and had a total employment headcount of 29,100.

It also found that official exports totaled $320m, but CMA believes that number could actually be over $1bn when “unofficial exports”​are taken into account – namely those bought by daiguo shoppers in Australia and they shipped to consumers in china.

The summit in Shanghai also hear from New Zealand Natural Health Products Association general manager Kerry Warn.

She highlight how the nation’s industry contributed $1.4bn to the economy at the time of its last audit in 2014. This is now likely to higher after several years of impressive growth and forecasts of an ongoing CAGR of 5%.

New Zealand currently has supplements exports of around $200m to China, with Warn highlighting growth for probiotics, magnesium and natural products for coughs and colds.

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