Trend tracker: Infant formula traceability, COVID-19's vitamin frenzy, and functional foods in India

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Some of the recent industry trends include efforts to strengthen China's infant formula traceability means and how demand for vitamins has increased due to the spread of covid-19. ©Getty Images
Some of the recent industry trends include efforts to strengthen China's infant formula traceability means and how demand for vitamins has increased due to the spread of covid-19. ©Getty Images

Related tags COVID-19 Infant formula China Singapore India

In this round up of industry trends, we look at how Danone has incorporated its infant formula products with a dual-QR code for traceability purpose, how COVID-19 spread has led to a spike in demand for vitamins in Singapore, as well as the trends and opportunities in India's functional foods market.
China infant formula traceability: Danone launches dual-QR service

Danone is launching a new traceability service​ for its infant formula in China, followed by other Asia-Pacific markets as well as Australia and New Zealand throughout the year.

The service called Track & Connect is a combination of several technologies, which aims to offer consumers and retailers greater transparency on the farm-to-fork journey of the company’s infant formula.

David Boulanger, senior vice president of operations at Danone Specialised Nutrition told NutraIngredients-Asia​, “There is a growing appetite from consumers, and parents who want to know more about what is in the food they eat and what they give to their babies​,

Coronavirus in Singapore: Vitamin demand jumps five-fold in two weeks for supermarket chain

The coronavirus Covid-19 has sparked a sudden spike in demand for vitamin C and multivitamins​ in Singapore, according to a major retailer in the city state.

As of February 25, Singapore has 91 confirmed cases, which includes both exported infection and local transmission cases. Of which, over half have been discharged.

With a number of local cases that were not linked to previous cases or travel history to China, the Singapore government had stepped up its risk assessment from DORSCON Yellow to DORSCON Orange on February 7.

WATCH: Firms see functional foods opportunities among India’s women and elderly populations

With India’s nutraceutical sector going from strength-to-strength, more start-ups are now also emerging in the country’s functional foods space.

In this episode of Nutrition Asia, we place our attention on the functional foods scene in India, where two start-ups, Voll Sante Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals and Merhaki Foods and Nutrition tell their insights and experience gained in the past few years.

Both firms pointed out that the concept of functional foods was still in its infancy in India and they needed to speak the consumers’ language to convey the benefits behind their products.

Beijing Internet Court inundated with complaints about health food and food product claims

Seven-out-of 10 online shopping complaints received by Beijing Internet Court from September 2018 to October 2019 were related to food and health food products.

The most common reasons for the complaints were the illegal addition of food ingredients, counterfeit food and unauthorised or expired use of trademarks.

A random review of 10 health food complaints found that nine of the 10 were related to falsely advertising the product as a ‘health food’ when it was not.

Ali Health CNY stats: The four key health products consumption trends

Ali Health has identified four key health products purchase trends​, as well as the best-selling products, witnessed across the Chinese New Year period.

The findings were based on the transactions made on Alibaba Health’s pharmaceutical e-commerce platform, as well as Alibaba Group’s China retail marketplaces during Alibaba’s Chinese New Year sale in early January this year.

In general, consumers in all age groups have shown a stronger tendency than before to spend on healthcare products, but those in the 20s are the biggest buyers.

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