Trend Tracker: APAC's latest omega-3, functional food and nutricosmetics consumer developments assessed

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

US-based omega-3 index testing firm OmegaQuant has opened a lab in Brisbane. ©iStock
US-based omega-3 index testing firm OmegaQuant has opened a lab in Brisbane. ©iStock
In our latest monthly Trend Tracker round-up, we assess the latest consumer and market developments for the region's omega-3, functional food and nutricosmetics sectors.


The region's leading probiotic and microbiome event — Probiota Asia — will get underway in Singapore this month with a stellar line-up of speakers, including the likes of Blackmores, Danone, Herbalife and Life-Space, set to take to the stage.

Find out how to attend​.

OmegaQuant confident new Aussie lab will ease omega-3 testing entry into other APAC markets

US-based omega-3 index testing firm OmegaQuant has opened a lab in Brisbane, Australia as a hub for the entire Asia-Pacific region, where it believes consumers are willing to embrace nutritional diagnostics.

Through this new lab, the company intends to expedite the processing of its omega-3 index tests and analyses; these were previously routed through its US headquarters in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The test, developed by founder and president Dr Bill Harris, entails customers collecting their own blood samples either at home or at the doctor's, using a simple finger stick and a single drop of blood.

They then send it to the lab, and receive a detailed assessment of their results in a number of weeks.


Functional food opportunities abound for Australia in ASEAN market: CSIRO-KPMG report

The ASEAN market presents a wealth of opportunity for Australian functional food firms,​ according to a joint report by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and auditor KPMG.

The report, entitled Food for Health​, stated that health and wellness was one of the world's fastest growing F&B categories, accounting for 20% (US$436.2m) of the global US$2.18bn packaged food market.

This was due mainly to lifestyle- and diet-related chronic illnesses such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, especially in ASEAN countries.


Can functional beverages provide a shot in the arm for Indonesia's sluggish soft drinks market?

New product development for functional drinks, coupled with innovations at the economy end of the market,​ could help Indonesia's soft drinks market bounce back from a recent slump in growth.

As the industry gathered in Jakarta for the FI Asia show - which featured a raft of firms, including AstaReal, Beneo, PureCircle, Firmenich, ADM and Glanbia, touting the functional and health-boosting opportunities provided by their ingredients for beverages – we took a look at the state of the nation’s sector.

According to analysts at Euromonitor, soft drinks recorded low single-digit volume growth in 2017, a significant slowdown from the double-digit volume growth seen in 2016.


"Feeling good is looking good": Asia leading the way for nutri-cosmetics and healthy ageing

Asia is leading the charge in the nutri-cosmetics and aged care sectors, riding on the growing 'beauty from within’ trend driven by the notion that "feeling good is looking good".

European and Latin American consumers have begun taking a cue from their Asian counterparts, expressing increasing interest in supplements that promise to improve outward appearance by providing inward health benefits.

At the recent Vitafoods Asia trade show in Singapore, ExcelVite nutritionist Diyanah Roslan told NutraIngredients-Asia​: "Consumers today do not only want to age healthily, they also want to age beautifully. They are well aware of the idea that 'feeling good is looking good'.


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