Editor's Spotlight

China Focus: From probiotics and protein to daigou and direct selling

By Cheryl Tay

- Last updated on GMT

China Focus: From probiotics and protein to daigou and direct selling

Related tags China Protein plant-based Probiotics daigou

Find out what's been happening in China's supplement and health food market, from overseas firms like Glanbia and Robertet expanding their China presence, to local businesses introducing protein and probiotic innovations.

WATCH: Glanbia China to focus on lifestyle nutrition on back of sports nutrition success

Glanbia Nutritionals is seeking to propel its growth in China via general lifestyle nutrition​, in addition to its sports nutrition stronghold, with a key focus on creating new concepts in tandem with its customers.

With a turnover of about US$1.5bn, Glanbia Nutritionals' portfolios span nutritional ingredients and finished consumer products.

Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia ​at Food Ingredients China 2019, David Townsend, VP of commercial (APAC), said the firm would focus on providing protein products for both the sports nutrition and general lifestyle segments in China.

WATCH: Flavours and fragrance firm Robertet brings health and beauty businesses to China

French company Robertet is bringing its health and beauty businesses into China​, after it first established its flavours and fragrances business in the country 10 years ago.

Besides China, the flavour and fragrances firm had previously introduced its health and beauty businesses into Japan and South Korea, its two other key Asian markets.

Sourced from millet, cantaloupe melon and wheat grain, the firm's three new beauty-from-within ingredients — which help to reverse hair loss, reduce cellulite and improve skin hydration, respectively — will soon be launched in China.

Daigou and direct-selling clampdown in China 'growing pains', but market will still thrive: HPA

The recent slew of crackdowns, regulatory reviews and stricter rules for China's health food and supplement industry are 'growing pains​' the industry must overcome, as regulators double down on efforts to promote safety and collect taxes.

Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia​, Jeff Crowther, executive director of trade body Health Products Association – China (HPA-China), said the State Administration for Market Regulation's (SAMR) quick succession of regulatory changes in relation to daigou traders and direct-selling firms were spurred by a need for greater consumer protection and a higher degree of corporate accountability.

"You're basically dealing with a government that wants to make sure it has some oversight in consumer protection, but also wants to make sure it gets its taxes. You can boil everything down to two things: safety and taxes."

Sporting chance: Guangzhou firm talks up protein punch packed by coconut beverage

Guangzhou supplier Topwell Coconut is seeking a breakthrough in the sports nutrition market​ with its 100% coconut plant-based protein beverage and coconut sparkling water.

The firm introduced its coconut plant-based protein beverage prototype, which contains 2% protein (higher than the national requirement of 0.5%), during the new product technical seminar at Food Ingredients China exhibition.

Process engineer and R&D manager Stephen Li told NutraIngredients-Asia ​that the beverage — developed in December last year — was derived purely from coconut, without any added soy or casein, making it suitable for vegans, as well as consumers suffering from food allergies.

Domestic China firm secures spore-forming probiotic advances for use in food

Chinese supplement firm Thankcome Biological Science and Technology (Suzhou) has successfully developed and produced spore-forming bacteria​ for use as probiotics in food.

Spore-forming bacteria, such as Bacillus coagulans​, are known for their resilience against heat and pH, making them an attractive probiotic ingredient for uses beyond chilled yoghurts and beverages.

Now, Chinese firm Thankcome is also joining the heat-stable probiotics scene with its propriety strain, BC-01.

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