The top 10 APAC supplement and nutrition brand stories of 2018 revealed

By Cheryl Tay contact

- Last updated on GMT

The top 10 APAC supplement and nutrition brand stories of 2018 revealed

Related tags: personalised nutrition, Honey, Counterfeit, FSMP, Cbd, Infant formula, Probiotics, Immune system, mushrooms

We reveal 2018's 10 most read APAC supplement and nutrition brand stories, featuring Herbalife, Nestlé, Blackmores, Swisse and more.

Herbalife's new personalised nutrition programme, Gene Start, debuts in South Korea

Herbalife has chosen South Korea for the launch of its new personalised nutrition programme​, Gene Start, as it seeks to capitalise on growing APAC demand for customised health solutions.

The programme uses a portable genetic testing kit to analyse individuals' genetic makeup, lifestyle patterns and dietary habits. The test was developed in conjunction with genomic science firm Theragen Etex, and will be available at US$72 per person.

Herbalife's APAC MD and senior VP Stephen Conchie told NutraIngredients-Asia​, "The tests will be administered by independent Herbalife members, using a stick to swipe an oral epithelium cell. The kit will then be analysed in a Theragen Etex lab, and based on the genetic data, health guidelines will be provided in a result book."

Move over, mānuka? Firm claims stingless bee honey 'better for health and environment'

Honey from a stingless bee species​ native to the Philippines is being touted as superior to mānuka honey, with a Singapore firm marketing products made from the former.

Trigona honey, from Trigona biroi​ bees, is purported to be low in sugar, highly sustainable, and strongly antibacterial. Its GI is also said to be 3.5 times lower than that of mānuka honey.

Produced in the Philippines and sold in Singapore by The GTCL Company under its Anaya brand, the honey is organically farmed, the company's co-founder Terry Tong says.

Nestlé signals personalised nutrition priority in Japan with launch of new DNA testing platform

Nestlé Japan has announced plans to branch out from the food and beverage business​ into healthcare, with personalised nutrition and aged care a prominent feature of this shift.

One of its first initiatives under this plan is the Nestlé Wellness Ambassador platform, which offers nutritional advice to customers based on their blood and DNA test results, and information on their dietary habits.

The company collaborated with Japanese start-ups Genesis Healthcare and Halmek Ventures, both of which examine the DNA and blood tests, before launching the platform in October 2017. It currently has around 90,000 subscribers.

Fake Blackmores and Swisse supplements seized in major China crackdown on counterfeits

Chinese authorities have seized over A$6.3m worth of counterfeit goods​, among them large quantities of popular Australian food items and supplements.

China's latest crackdown consisted of two operations, one of which resulted in the confiscation of counterfeit Blackmores and Swisse supplements, among other products.

According to Guangdong police, the investigation into fake supplements had taken place over the last two months, during which they exposed 22 suspects, all alleged members of four criminal groups.

Nestlé targets 20 new foods for special medical purposes in China after opening new factory

Nestlé has invested US$151.3m in two new factories in China​ as part of its latest efforts to increase its FSMP (foods for special medical purposes) and skincare offerings.

The factories  are located in China Medical City (CMC) in Taizhou, Jiangsu Province, with one under Nestlé's wholly owned subsidiary Nestlé Health Science, and the other under Galderma, Nestlé Skin Health's medical solutions business.

Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia​, Nestlé Health Science's Greater China regional business head Cecily Gu said: "At the new factory, we are focusing on developing a protein-based liquid nutritional supplement that will be available in 250ml and 500ml bottles."

New player in Japan's CBD market as Phivida secures regulatory approval

Canadian cannabinoid firm Phivida has received approval from the Japanese authorities​ to sell its hemp products in the country, following 12 months of negotiations.

The firm has now entered into a product distribution agreement with Asayake to sell its CBD-infused functional food and beverages, and its Vida+ line of clinical CBD hemp oil products in the country.

It hopes to then use this as a springboard for further APAC expansion. Phivida's manufactured products are hemp-derived and THC-free, "providing premium non-psychoactive phytocannabinoids, compliant with federal regulations in Japan"​.

Danone Dumex formula recalled in Singapore after cronobacter sakazakii bacteria detected

Singapore's Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) has recalled a batch of Dumex Mamil Gold Infant Milk Formula — Step 1 (850g) after detecting cronobacter sakazakii​ bacteria​ in samples.

The product, imported by Danone Dumex, was manufactured in Malaysia. The effected batch number is 09117R1, with an expiry date of September 11, 2019.

AVA said in a statement: "Consumers who have purchased the affected product are advised not to consume it."

China supplement giant BY-HEALTH to buy Australian probiotic firm Life-Space Group for $690m

Yet another Australian supplement brand is set for a Chinese takeover, with BY-Health agreeing to pay $690m​ for probiotic firm Life-Space Group.

Life-Space Group, which was privately owned, is one of the largest probiotic companies in Australia. It operates the Evolution Health and Ultramix businesses, and owns Life-Space, the market-leading probiotic brand sold in China and Australia.

In addition, the company owns or distributes Healthy Essentials, Elmore Oil and Corams — a brand portfolio in the natural health, joint and muscular pain relief, and infant care categories.

BioCeuticals backs immunity magic of medicinal mushrooms with new supplement range

BioCeuticals, the Blackmores-owned practitioner-only supplement firm, has launched a full suite of immunity-boosting medicinal mushroom supplements​, produced using a novel growing system and backed by a DNA-testing process.

Its new UltraDefense range of products is the result of what is known as the full-spectrum growing process, as well as a DNA testing method.

The flagship product is UltraDefense Mushroom 7 Mushroom Complex with Maitake and D3, which includes a blend of seven mushrooms, along with vitamin D3.

Swisse Wellness buys back China distribution rights from P&G and Teva joint venture

Swisse Wellness' parent company, H&H (Health & Happiness) Group — formerly Biostime — has bought back the vitamin firm's distribution rights​ from PGT Healthcare for $131m, including those for the key China market.

PGT Healthcare, a joint venture between the Procter & Gamble Company and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, earned the distribution rights in a 2013 collaboration agreement with Swisse.

This latest development saw the conclusion of their partnership, whereupon PGT returned ownership and management of all global territories to Swisse.

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