Leah Davey, general manager at Oceania DSM Nutritional Products, highlighted the trends as DSM revealed upgrades to its Auckland facility, which will produce products for sports nutrition, early life nutrition, food & beverage, and medical nutrition.
The facility will manufacture sports nutrition premixes containing vitamins, minerals, and proteins. DSM is a supplier of PeptoPro, which is a peptide formulation derived from dairy protein that delivers amino acids to the muscles even at high intensity exercise, and Fruitflow, which is natural ingredient derived from tomato concentrate to support healthy blood flow.
The current sports nutrition market in APAC is valued at US$5.6 billion, and expected to grow at a CAGR of 8% reaching US$7.5 billion by 2023. It represents 16% of the global market share.
In addition to the prevailing consumer, demographic and economic trends, there was also a “growing demand for innovative products with naturally derived ingredients that is fueling the growth of the sports nutrition market in APAC.
“Clean labelling and sustainable sourcing are also key elements as consumers seek ingredients that they recognise as safe to use.”
Within APAC, Davey said China and Japan showed the most optimistic future scenario for sports nutrition growth.
The sports nutrition premixes produced in the new facility will target the Australia and New Zealand markets as well as China.
“The China market represents a growing opportunity for our local brands and customers in the sports nutrition space,” she commented.
While core users represent the majority of sports nutrition consumers, Davey said there was also a rapidly growing number of lifestyle consumers who were interested in active nutrition.
She explained this included more women, youths and senior citizens, which would lead to massive category growth.
Protein still King
While protein will continue to rule as more lifestyle consumers express interest in boosting the amount and quality of protein across their diet, Davey said consumers also wanted additional micronutrients to aid them in reaching their sporting goals.
For instance, vitamin and mineral fortification in functional waters account for about 9% of new product development (NPD) in the sports nutrition category. These are enhanced with electrolytes, and energy to give consumers the boost they need.
Davey added: “Functional claims continue to drive NPD activity in sports nutrition with 'improved energy' and 'hydration' being the main areas of focus.”
There will continue to be increasing pressure on the food industry to find new and environmentally-friendly food solutions.
Such examples include edible insects that contain high-quality protein, vitamins and amino acids for humans while having a small impact on the environment.
Thanks to its upgrade, the facility in Auckland will now run on renewable electricity generated from solar, hydro and geothermal sources.
The production plant will also optimise the production of micronutrient premixes for increased efficiency, in order to better serve the growing consumer market for nutritional products in the Asia Pacific region.