Trend tracker: China, SEA, and Saudi supplement markets in focus

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Trends in China, SEA, and Saudi supplement markets

Related tags Eye health daigou Morinaga Nature's Way

This round-up looks at the latest consumer trends in the health and nutrition industry across Asia-Pacific, including how kids eye health supplements are becoming more popular in China, why Thailand is the ‘supplement’ market of South East Asia and more.
Demand for kid’s eye health nutrition has surpassed that of bone health in China – Nature’s Way​  

The demand for kids eye health supplements has surpassed the previous powerhouses of bone health and DHA in the past year, according to Australian supplement brand Nature’s Way.

Sales of the firm’s kids eye health supplement, sold under the brand name Kids Smart, have jumped 300 per cent as compared to last year, Airing Wang, head of marketing (China) at PharmaCare Laboratories – which owns Nature’s Way, told NutraIngredients-Asia.

Wang said that parents were investing in eye health supplements as the use of digital devices among children has become increasingly common.

Beyond pre- and probiotics: Combination products and personalisation driving innovation – Exclusive Growth Asia Summit insights

Combination products and customisation look set to be key drivers for product innovation in the microbiome health space, moving the sector far beyond the conventional prebiotics and probiotics products of today.

This is according to Evan Hayes, Managing Director Asia Pacific at Factors Group, who recently spoke at Growth Asia Summit 2022 organised by NutraIngredients-Asia ​and FoodNavigator-Asia​.

Some of the innovations highlighted by Hayes included synbiotics – a combination of prebiotics and probiotics, and postbiotics – metabolites produced by the microorganisms that can accentuate new probiotic functionalities; and also other types of strategic combinations that can boost the health impacts.

End of daigou era? Social media e-commerce strengthens its status for supplement sales in China​  

Social media e-commerce marketing is emerging as a crucial marketing platform for supplements to appeal to consumers in China in the post-COVID-19 era, while the role of daigou in Chinese cross-border e-commerce has drastically declined in the past two years.

Pre-COVID, many brands used daigou – a form of surrogate shopping where buyers/exporters outside of China purchase items for consumers residing in China.

Since the pandemic hit and supply chains have increased significantly in complexity, the appeal and utilisation of this route is no longer as straightforward, and this has opened up the doors for other marketing channels such as social media to gain a stronger foothold, said Jesse Gu, International Head of Sales and Marketing at BYHEALTH.

Thailand ‘the supplement market’ in SEA: Morinaga on new ingredient launch in the region​  

Thailand is “the supplement market” when it comes to introducing new functional ingredienst into the South East Asia region and beyond, says major Japanese dairy and functional ingredients manufacturer Morinaga Milk.

The company exhibited at the Food Ingredients Asia (FI Asia) tradeshow held in Bangkok during October 5 to 7.

In addition to a sizeable market size, it is also a market that appreciates health supplements, said Jason Foo, senior vice president at Morinaga Nutritional Foods (Asia Pacific).  

Saudi supplement trends: Research reveals low levels of consumption among breastfeeding mothers - Cross-sectional study

A first-of-its-kind Saudi Arabian study has found that although dietary supplement use is most prevalent among young, highly educated medical students or professionals, there is a lack of understanding of its importance among breastfeeding women.

A total of 531 adults took part in the online survey.

Just over 51.8 per cent of them used dietary supplements, with younger people around the age of 29 forming the majority of users. Of which, 85.5 per cent were more highly educated and 63.7 per cent worked in the health sector.

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