Trend tracker: Popular nutra brands in China, India leading APAC in immune health foods launch

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

This round-up looks at ongoing trends in the health and nutrition industry. ©Getty Images
This round-up looks at ongoing trends in the health and nutrition industry. ©Getty Images

Related tags China India Japan

In this round-up, we highlight the ongoing trends in the health and nutrition industry, including the best-selling vitamin, calcium, Q10 brands in China, how India is leading APAC in terms of new immune health foods launch and more.
Data bank: China’s most imported vitamins, calcium, probiotics, Q10, glucosamine revealed

Australia’s Blackmores, Swisse, and GNC from the US were China’s most imported health foods brands across a range of top-selling product categories, according to a new report​.

The report​ from the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Medicines and Health Products (CCCMPHIE) analysed customs figures on the key dietary supplements imported and exported out of China last year.

The value of health products that China had imported last year was up 12.8% to US$3.4bn, while export value went up 12.7% to US$1.88bn, the commerce association announced earlier this year. 

Morinaga’s innovation focus: Yoghurt NPD, lactoferrin immunity research and e-commerce efforts revealed

Japanese dairy product company Morinaga Milk Industry has revealed plans​ to expand its yoghurt range by introducing more products with functional benefits, accelerate its lactoferrin research and e-commerce business as part of its key initiatives for this fiscal year.

This comes on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic which has brought uncertainty to businesses worldwide, including Morinaga Milk.

However, what was certain was the heightened interest in immunity and health, where the company hopes to conduct research and incorporate its functional ingredients into consumer products to meet changing demands.

India’s immune health surge: Nation leads APAC in number of new product launches – new data

India is leading the APAC market​ with the highest number of new food, drinks and supplements that bear immune system-boosting claims launched in the last five months. Australia and Indonesia ranked second and third.

In India, the launch of new immune health foods can range from turmeric latte as seen in the case of Amul’s Haldi Doodh to bakery brand Bonn, which added turmeric, black pepper, and oregano to its bread products. 

As of end March, 66% of the Indian consumers said they were “extremely worried”​ about the risk of being exposed to COVID-19, Michelle Teodoro, associate director of food science at Mintel Food and Drink told NutraIngredients-Asia.  

WATCH: Immune, digestive, cognitive health at the forefront of infant formula innovation

Immune, digestive, cognitive health concerns have been listed as the key drivers in the development of new infant formula products – according to two industry experts.

In this episode of Nutrition Asia​, we find out how today’s infant formula industry has been shaped by a combination of consumers’ demands and innovation around new ingredients.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a heightened demand for infant formula containing lactoferrin and other immune-enhancing ingredients.

Functional approach: Taisho steps up nutrition product development as pharma business declines

Japan’s Taisho Pharmaceutical Holdings is stepping up product development in its nutrition business​, as its prescription pharmaceutical struggles to secure significant growth opportunities.

Taisho is one of the largest pharmaceutical firms in Japan, accounting for over 13% of the over-the-counter (OTC) market in the country. It produces drugs such as antibiotics and dietary supplement products including energy drinks.

The company reported in its annual financials that its prescription pharmaceutical business has been dropping in recent years, citing increasing difficulty in discovering new drugs and the steady penetration of various government measures designed to curb healthcare costs.

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