Trend tracker: New Zealand's pharmacy retail, China's electrolyte drink and South Korea's probiotic market

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Trends in New Zealand's pharmacy retail, China's electrolyte drink and South Korea's probiotic market

Related tags New zealand South korea Pharmacy Danone AB-BIOTICS Sanofi

Here is the round-up of the latest nutraceutical trends in Asia-Pacific, including how pharmacies are increasingly preferred over supermarkets for natural health products purchase in New Zealand, the growth of electrolyte drinks sector in China, and the diversity of consumer needs in South Korea's probiotic market.
New Zealand supplement trends 2023: Pharmacy strengthens retail sales over supermarkets as domestic industry tops $300m​   

Pharmacy retails sales now account for 75 per cent of brick-and-mortar supplement sales in New Zealand, with supermarket sales slumping by 10 per cent in just five years.

Total natural health products in the country achieved NZ$300m (US$185) of sales in the past year, a rise of 6.5 per cent in dollar value at 1.5% in units, according to Julie Bramley, market insights and research consultant at Circana, who was speaking at trade body Natural Health Products New Zealand’s annual summit held in Blenheim in May.

One in three dollars now spent in pharmacies goes on health and wellness, both OTC items and natural health products, with beauty accounting for 41%. “Hopefully supermarkets will become open to doing more as they are clearly losing market share,”​ Bramley said.

Plant-based trends not slowing down: Danone ANZ develops dairy and plant milk blend for infants and toddlers​  

Danone has launched a dairy and plant milk powder blend designed for infants and toddlers in Australia and New Zealand – the first of its kind that the firm has introduced in Asia Pacific.

Sold under the Aptamil brand, the formula contains 60 per cent dairy protein from whey and casein and 40 per cent non-GMO soy protein. 

Shantanu Das, head of innovation and PSQC at Danone Australia-New Zealand, said the product was developed in view of the growing demand for plant-based products for kids, while creating a well-rounded nutritional product at the same time.

Sensory superiority: Taste, smell and texture remain key, despite growing interest in functionality – Symrise

Taste remains paramount if consumers are to try and repeatedly purchase healthier and functional products, claims ingredient giant Symrise.

Speaking at the SIFBI-ILSI Symposium in Singapore on June 9, Dr Conor Delahunty said: “Food has no nutritional value until it is chosen, accepted and consumed regularly as part of a diet. The sensory properties of foods, such as taste and smell, are the main factors for consumers’ choice and consumption.”

Despite the importance of taste, it remains a challenge for many food companies, Dr Delahunty said, adding that the product development process should include an understanding of consumer and market needs, sensory profiling, and consumer testing.

‘The fastest growing beverage category’: Danone China launches electrolyte drink on the back of rising demand

Danone China has launched an electrolyte drink on the back of booming demand, adding that the category is the fastest growing in China’s beverage sector.

Known as Mizone Electrolyte +, the grapefruit-flavoured drink is designed for active consumers or those who want to supplement their electrolyte requirements.

Citing a report by Qianzhan (Forward) Industrial Research Institute, Danone pointed out that the electrolyte beverages has become the fastest growing beverage category in China, with market size expanding 50.1 per cent to RMB$2.7bn (US$381.4m) last year.

‘Higher acceptance’: Sanofi, AB-BIOTICS team up to launch probiotics for improving cholesterol in South Korea​  

Sanofi Consumer Healthcare Korea is working with AB-BIOTICS to launch probiotics that deliver benefits beyond gut health in South Korea – a market which is said to have a higher acceptance of using probiotics for a wider range of therapeutic purposes.

The latest launch from the partnership is sold under the supplement brand Cenovis, with the product named Superbiotics Cholesterol.

Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, ​Albert Royo, director APAC-MEA Region AB-Biotics said that the South Korean probiotic market was relatively more developed than other Asia-Pacific markets and consumers were more willing to consume probiotics for a wider range of health concerns. 

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