Trend tracker: Probiotics, hemp, and immune health in the spotlight

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Trend tracker: Probiotics, hemp, and immune health in the spotlight

Related tags life-space Soul Strips FFC

Here is the round-up of the latest nutraceutical trends in Asia-Pacific, including higher consumption of probiotics for cognitive support in Australia, how hemp's protein and low GI benefits are gaining popularity among vegans and older consumers, as well as the continued demand for immune health products in the post-COVID era.
Rising demand for probiotics for cognitive support, with gut health still mainstay – Life-Space

The use of probiotics for cognitive function is on the rise in Australia, as consumer understanding of the gut-brain axis grows, says Life-Space.

For example, the company’s Probiotics+ Stress Relief saw sales increased by over 23 per cent year-on-year.

“The benefits of probiotics were once thought to be confined to the gut. But thanks to an improved understanding of the gut-organ axis, consumers are now looking to probiotics to support multiple body systems, including skin, immune, metabolic, and nervous system health,” ​said Alex Georgiou, scientific affairs associate and naturopathic practitioner.

Hemp’s protein and low GI benefits gaining popularity from vegans and older consumers – India’s Cure By Design​  

Hemp food and beverages are seeing support from vegans, vegetarians, and older consumers for its protein and low glycaemic index (GI) benefits, says Indian firm Cure By Design.

Sales of the company’s hemp food products have been growing at a yearly average of 45 per cent, founder Daanish Matheen told NutraIngredients-Asia.

Aside from consuming hemp as a source of protein, hemp has also gained a following among consumers who are conscious about their blood glucose level, he said.  

Still surging? Pandemic over but immune health category still top of mind for consumers – industry players​  

The spike in demand for immune-related products has not dwindled after COVID-19, and is in fact showing signs of long-lasting potential, say several industry players.

India-based Soul Strips, for example, said its immune-boosting oral strips have been attracting interest and orders from around the world.

Thai nutraceutical firm 3C Group, on the other hand, signed an agreement with UK-based Clasado Biosciences for exclusive distribution rights of the latter’s proprietary prebiotic ingredient Bimuno GOS and its D2C product, Bimuno Original, in the local market. Bimuno has been extensively studied for its effects on gut, immune, and cognitive health.

Can Japan’s Foods with Function Claims keep up with demand for more science and ethical advertising?

Japan’s vibrant Foods with Function Claims (FFC) sector will need to keep up with the demand for rigorous scientific evidence and ethical advertising for it to continue its phenomenal market growth, say experts from the country’s health foods associations.

Although FFC has grown rapidly, the system, introduced in 2015, has also met its fair share of criticisms over the years.

Some are sceptical of the science and efficacy of FFC products, some see it as a marketing stunt to boost the health and functional food industry.

Comfort and convenience: Consumers are seeking wider flavour options and formats for meal replacements – Sustyfoods

Singapore-based meal replacements brand Sustyfoods says that convenience and functionality are key purchase drivers, and expects rising demand for savoury options and product formats that are more similar to “real meals”.

Sustyfoods’ bestseller is its Low Carb Shake, which comes in Original (Less Sweet) and Dark Chocolate flavours.

Gautam Param, co-founder of Sustyfoods, attributes the popularity of its low-carbohydrate series to its dual functionality as a product that supports weight loss and blood sugar control.

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