The UK-based firm recently entered an agreement with Australia’s OptiPharm for the use of its OptiBiome ingredient.
OptiPharm owns the flagship weight management brand, Optislim, with products ranging from shakes, soups, and bars and are offered as total (very low calorie diet) or partial (low calorie diet) meal replacements.
Last year, Optibiotix won the highly coveted NutraIngredients-Asia awards for its SlimBiome Medical ingredient. OptiBiome is an alternative trademark to SlimBiome, used in countries where an implied health claim cannot be made.
Lose to win
Stephen OHara, chief executive at OptiBiotix told NutraIngredients-Asia: “OptiBiome contains three ingredients that work in synergy to increase satiety, reduce energy intake, hunger and fat cravings in overweight and obese adults.”
“Glucomannan expands in the stomach and reduces total volume. Chromium helps control blood glucose levels, by preventing glucose peaks and drops, thereby preventing cravings. Prebiotic in the form of chicory root fibre helps alter the gut microbiome, and influence gut hormones such as GLP-1 and GLP-2 to provide sustainable weight management.”
OHara said both Optibiome and Optislim are working towards the same goal. “People can lose weight if they solely reduce their calories, but the problem with this is that they will start to feel hungry and get cravings, which then defeats the purpose. The idea is that these clinically proven ingredients and products can reduce the frequency of cravings, and help them lose weight.”
OHara told us sales of Optibiome have shot through the roof. From 2018 to 2019, sales had increased 2500%, and continues to sustain in 2020.
As part of its business strategy, apart from bringing its existing ingredients and products into more markets, OptiBiotix hopes to release new products incorporating its weight management ingredient.
For instance, in early April, the company launched a gummy product containing Slimbiome in the UK.
Ohara said their strategy is to launch in the UK first, followed by Europe, Asia and the US.
Middle East plans
Garry McDonald, managing director of OptiPharm told NutraIngredients-Asia Middle East was a key market for its high prevalence of overweight population. In Saudi Arabia, he said 69% of adults were overweight, and “this is a similar situation for other countries in the region such as Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Oman, Jordan.”
He also added that Saudi Arabia has a well-structured network of pharmacy chains, which provided an ideal retail platform.
In relation to South East Asia, McDonald said this region holds huge potential as it represents 8.3% of the world’s population, and its population continue to grow faster than that of the China, the US, and Europe.
While this region’s prevalence of overweight is half that of the Middle East, with the exception of Malaysia, “shear population numbers and the emergence of fast food offerings throughout the region will lead to higher overweight and obesity numbers.”