Trend Tracker: SEA bird's nest firms wooing China market, analysis of probiotic trends in APAC, and Chemist Warehouse's e-commerce expansion

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Read about market trends in the area of probiotics and the edible bird's nest industry in this round-up. © Getty Images
Read about market trends in the area of probiotics and the edible bird's nest industry in this round-up. © Getty Images

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Read about South East Asia's bird's nest manufacturers and their ambitions in growing their presence in China, the ongoing market trends in the area of probiotic research and consumers' demands in APAC and more.
WATCH: The evolution of Japan’s US$2.5 billion Foods with Function claims market

Four years after its launch, Japan’s Food with Function market now encompasses 2,409 products with the sector set to hit the US$2.5 billion mark this year.

The FFC system was first introduced in April 2015, to differentiate existing product claims such as the Foods for Specified Health Uses (FOSHU) And Foods With Nutrient Function Claims (FNFC).

Speaking to Label Bank’s chief executive officer, Hiroyuki Kawai at the recent Health Ingredients exhibition held in Tokyo, he said the FFC system had brought about a new management strategy​ that required scientific evidence based on clinical trials or systematic reviews.

South East Asia’s bird’s nest firms ready to flock to lucrative China market on trade mission

Introduction:South East Asia’s bird’s nest firms are ramping up their efforts​ to capture the fast-growing Chinese market.

Priced for its skin beauty effect, China’s bird’s nest industry had seen “speedy growth”​ in the past five years, with 105.2 tonnes of dried bird’s nest imported last year, which was about three times more than 2016.

The top three importers were Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, according to the latest statistics published by China Chamber of Commerce of Medicines and Health Products Importers and Exporters (CCCMPHIE) in August this year.

Probiotic research booming in Asia with China and Iran leading the charge

A growing number of clinical studies focusing on probiotics is seen in Asia, with China and Iran seeing exponential increase​ in recent years, according to an International Probiotics Association-backed review.

This point was highlighted by Professor Ger Rijkers, from University College Roosevelt, who was speaking at the opening of our Probiota Asia summit in Singapore.

He was speaking on the topic “Tomorrow never knows: A critical analysis of probiotics research and applications” hosted by NutraIngredients-Asia’s ​editor-in-chief Gary Scattergood.

Chemist Warehouse expands e-commerce footprint with Alibaba in China and South East Asia

Australian retail giant Chemist Warehouse, famed for its cut-price vitamins and supplements, is on a market expansion spree in China and South East Asia.

With China, the pharmacy chain has recently opened three new stores, namely My Chemist, My Beauty Spot, and Discount Vitamin Warehouse on Tmall Global, following its renewed partnership with Alibaba.

Famous for being the “cheapest” pharmacy in Australia, Chemist Warehouse first launched in Tmall Global in 2015, and the renewed agreement will come into effect for the next two years.

WATCH: Morishita Jintan provides country breakdown of probiotic markets in Asia

China is the fastest growing Asia market for probiotics, but South East Asia is fast gaining traction, according to Morishita Jintan.

At the Vitafoods Asia exhibition in Singapore, Yuji Sakuta, manager at the international business department, told NutraIngredients-Asia​: “East Asian countries like Japan, Korea, and Taiwan are sophisticated probiotic markets with advanced biotechnology​.”

In South East Asia, he said the most advanced probiotic market is Singapore​, however the largest is still Indonesia, due to its 260m-strong population.

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