Trend Tracker: Expert insight into APAC's omega-3 sector, Asia's growing diabetes and obesity epidemic, and continuing daigou success featured

By Cheryl Tay

- Last updated on GMT

Trend Tracker: Expert insight into APAC's omega-3 sector, Asia's growing diabetes and obesity epidemic, and continuing daigou success featured

Related tags omega-3 China daigou Diabetes Obesity

In our latest trend round-up, we bring you news on the APAC omega-3 sector, pressing health problems in Asia, daigou's continuous climb in China, up-and-coming innovations in plant-based omega-3, and Herbalife's future plans for the Chinese market.

WATCH: BASF and Nature's Farm on the potential of the APAC omega-3 sector

The latest omega-3 research, product innovation spanning combinations of ingredients, and the strengths and weaknesses of consumer understanding across the region are all covered in our latest Nutrition Asia video series​, featuring insights form two category experts.

To kick things off, BASF Human Nutrition's global marketing head, Goh Lay Kwan, talks about two key trends in APAC's omega-3 category: the use of omega-3 to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease (especially among older consumers), and personalised nutrition.

She goes on to emphasise the importance of omega-3 uptake — which is perhaps even more vital than intake in influencing omega-3 levels in the body — and how companies can innovate to increase the bioavailability and convenience of such supplements.

Asian ailments: New report highlights steep rise in obesity and diabetes across the region

Obesity, diabetes, anaemia in women of reproductive age, and childhood malnutrition are the among the most pressing health issues in Asia​, according to the Global Nutrition Report 2018.

Countries in East, South East and South Asia are facing all these issues to varying degrees, with obesity and diabetes major problems in China, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and India.

All the aforementioned countries are struggling with anaemia in women of reproductive age, and childhood malnutrition is especially prevalent in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and India.

Plant-based omega-3: Groundbreaking metabolic engineering programme for canola in the spotlight at first NutraIngredients summit

A project that used gene technology​ to create canola oil that yields quantities of long-chain omega-3 previously only available in fish will be showcased at the first NutraIngredients Omega-3 Summit in Singapore.

The event, which takes place from February 20 to 22, will hear from Dr Surinder Singh, Chief Research Scientist and Group Leader, Plant Oil Engineering, at CSIRO Agriculture & Food in Australia.

He said: "Consumer demand for long-chain omega-3 oils is growing faster than can be sustainably supplied from wild fish stocks. The race is on to find potential new sources, and the creation of land-based plants that can yield omega-3 in the necessary quantities has been a longstanding goal of bio-engineers.  CSIRO's Plant Oil Engineering Team and their commercial partner, Nuseed, have finally achieved it. It's good news for worldwide fish stocks, and for human nutrition."

New brands, higher margins: AuMake reveals daigou traders' insatiable appetite for new ranges

The demand for new brands and products shows no signs of slowing amongst daigou​ traders, with one daigou​ specialist retailer revealing that these products can lead to a 50% margin for daigou​ traders​.

With China continuing existing cross-border e-commerce (CBEC) policies​, daigou​ activity is expected to flourish, and AuMake hopes to ride on the opportunity by attracting more daigou​ traders.

Keong Chan, the executive chairman of AuMake told NutraIngredients-Asia:  "As illegitimate operators are phased out with increased regulation, it is anticipated that legitimate CBEC participants, including AuMake and the professional daigou traders, will increase their market share."

Five pillars of growth: Herbalife outlines further expansion plans for China

Herbalife has carved out five pillars of growth​ to support further expansion in China, which is by far its biggest sales market in APAC.

As of Q3 2018, China is already the biggest contributor​ to the firm's net sales, enjoying an annual growth of 27% to reach US$266.5m, almost equivalent to the rest of APAC, which has reaped a sales figure of US$274.3m. 

NutraIngredients-Asia​ spoke to Dr Zheng Qun Yi, chairman of Herbalife Nutrition China, to find out more about the firm's plans for the Chinese market.

Describing China as "a very important market"​, Zheng said that the firm would invest RMB$700m (US$100.6m), known as the China Growth and Impact Investment programme, to support growth in the country.

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