Trend tracker: Microbiome research, alternative protein, consumers' health habits in focus

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Trend tracker: Microbiome research, alternative protein, consumers' health habits in focus

Related tags: Trends, COVID-19, Probiota, Protein, Dairy

This industry trends round-up will shine the spotlight on microbiome research, alternative protein, and consumers' health and supplement intake habits amid the ongoing pandemic.
Probiota Asia: Experts assess pioneering microbiome research on immunity, bone and joint health amid COVID-19

Exclusive findings on microbiome research centred around vaccine immunogenicity and gut microbiota changes in COVID-19 patients were revealed at the first edition of our Probiota Asia digital summit for 2021.

Bone, joint, and metabolic health are also at the forefront of microbiome research in response to the ageing population, said a group of expert panellists during the first day of Probiota Asia 2021 Digital Summit.

The Probiota Asia 2021 Digital Summit is a four-day online event organised by NutraIngredients-Asia.

In search of our Beyond and Impossible: Why next breakout alternative protein firm is likely to be from Asia

The search for the Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods is on and could very likely be coming from Asia, according to an ex-Beyond and Impossible VC fund manager.

According to Lever VC Managing Partner Nick Cooney, the growth of alternative protein firms in Asia ​has been so rapid that the ‘next big firm’ could well have already come into existence and is just waiting to get its products, technology and investments all in place.

“Asia has seen such massive growth in this space – just two or three years ago, there were no alternative protein firms with good products or brands, but today, there are numerous firms and the number is growing everyday,”​ Cooney told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

COVID-19 supplement trends: Chinese consumers take two to three supplements weekly on average – Herbalife survey

Chinese consumers are taking on average two to three supplement products weekly, with improving immunity, overall health, and digestive system as the key reasons, according to new survey findings by Herbalife.

The survey assessed the amount of knowledge and supplement intake habits of consumers. It was conducted in 24 countries, including 2,000 respondents from China. 

As of August, nearly seven in 10 (68 per cent) of the respondents in China said they were consuming supplements on a weekly basis.

COVID-19 and ‘junk food’ ads: Children’s added exposure during pandemic a ‘major concern’ – experts

The increase of online ‘junk food’ marketing to children since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic poses a long term-health risk and has become a major public health concern, claim experts.

Many children throughout the Asia Pacific region have been confined to their homes as part of COVID-19 related lockdowns since the pandemic hit last year, and throughout this time have increasingly turned to their mobile and other digital devices for entertainment to fill up the time they would normally spend at school or activities.

This has resulted in them becoming more likely to come across unhealthy food advertisements online​, which are currently not regulated in most countries.

COVID-19 dairy boost: Yili looks to product diversification after monumental profits leap in first half of 2021

China dairy giant Yili is looking to focus on the diversification of its product portfolio to ensure sustained growth after seeing a 42.48% jump in H1 2021 net profits, with the firm seemingly enjoying a boost due to COVID-19 health trends.

Yili recently unveiled its H1 FY2021 financial results, where it saw 18.89% year-on-year growth in total revenue to hit CNY56.5bn (US$8.78bn), and a very significant 42.48% yoy growth in total net profits to hit CNY5.3bn (US$823mn).

The firm’s Assistant President Dr Yun Zhanyou told FoodNavigator-Asia​ that the achievement of such financial success even at a time of instability has been due to two main factors – the growth of the dairy industry itself, ironically as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as Yili’s proactive product upgrading and innovations.

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