Speaking to FoodNavigator-Asia at the recent Fi Asia Thailand 2019 show in Bangkok, Glanbia Nutritionals Product Technology Manager AsPac Bilva Trivedi said that beverages as a format were gaining in Thailand due to convenience and nutritional factors. Glanbia Nutritionals is the Glanbia arm focused on innovations within the nutritional ingredients space.
“Even though beverages are also growing in popularity globally, this is even bigger here in Thailand,” she told us.
“One of the main reasons for this is convenience – locally, beverages are seen to be convenient options for consumption, especially the ready-to-drink (RTD) format.
“Another reason is the ease by which functional benefits can be incorporated into beverages, especially when it comes to health and wellness benefits. Local consumers are also very much on the lookout for protein options, and having this in functional beverages is definitely an increasingly popular option.”
Trivedi emphasized that the demand for high-protein beverages was a trend not just growing locally, but also worldwide.
“The old perception of protein was that all about muscles, but that has changed – now there are many health connotations attached to it,” she said.
“One in ten functional beverages today have protein claims attached to them, which is a clear indicator of how consumers are increasingly on the lookout for protein.
The company’s newly-launched protein-focused healthy ageing solution AdvanPro is such an example. The product claims to be ‘a low-protein solution that can induce as much muscle synthesis as a 25g dose of whey protein isolate’ as a result of Glanbia Nutritionals technology.
“We chose to focus on this and launch it during the Fi Asia Thailand 2019 show due to the elderly statistics in APAC – By 2030, 60% of the elderly population aged 65 years old and above worldwide will be residing in Asia,” said Trivedi.
“With the rise in age comes muscle loss, a condition called sarcopenia where the muscles shrink, causing the patient to lose strength, lose functional independence, have increased disease susceptibility and risk of disability and more – this must be prevented and reduced, which is where AdvanPro can come in.”
With this in mind, Glanbia Nutritionals also focused on several other protein-related options such as solutions containing heat-stable whey proteins that are ‘completely soluble in hot beverages’, and a bioactive whey protein with natural immune system boosting compounds.
“Elderly consumers tend to prefer hot foods and drinks as they find it comforting, which is where Protherma can come in to ensure that the protein remains viable even in these, whereas Salibra contains lactoferrin and immunoglobulin to naturally boost and improve the immune system,” explained Trivedi.
“Manufacturers can align these solutions with their goals, depending on the profiles they want to cater to and the claims they wish to make.”
Look and feel
Besides protein and beverages, Trivedi also identified weight management and prevention solutions as being on the rise within the food and beverage industry.
“Elderly or senior nutrition is a big trend, especially when it comes to prevention, but there is also weight management and prevention, which is very important as it applies both for beauty and health and wellness purposes,” she said.
“It’s all about the overall totality of look (beauty) and feel (health and wellness).”