The Melbourne-based company acquired bone broth company Best of the Bone in August and is now working on strengthening the supply chain, with plans to co-develop new products further down the road.
“At the moment, our primary objective is to improve the supply chain of the business, because the demand is outstripping our ability to supply the product in the local Australian market where we are seeing a huge demand,” Nathan Cheong, CEO at Melrose Health Group told NutraIngredients-Asia.
The company is utilising its liquid filing lines in its manufacturing facility at Melrose to speed up the production.
Cheong said that Best of the Bone has been growing at 40 per cent year-on-year in Australia and the overall bone broth market in Australia, according to his estimates, is around AUD$70m (US$46m) to AUD$100m (US$65.8m).
Bone broth concentrate is the largest revenue contributor to Best of the Bone, which also manufactures functional food sauces and gravies made from bone broth.
Best of the Bone’s products are sold in health food stores, Woolworths, and independent groceries across Australia.
“The Original Bone Broth concentrate formula consists of bone broth concentrate utilising beef, leg bones and joints with no preservatives, no artificial ingredients. It's pure Australian and New Zealand cow bone and water and a little bit of salt,” he said.
The concentrates also come in other versions, such as the turmeric and black pepper version for anti-inflammation, a mushroom blend, and a probiotic blend.
One way to consume the bone broth concentrate, which has a consistency like honey, is to mix it with water and drink it.
A reason for bone broth supplement’s growing popularity in Australia is because consumers identify the products as being beneficial for their overall health and gut health.
“Probably the biggest reason is that a lot of people are identifying this type of product as being beneficial for their overall health, not only from an anti-inflammatory perspective, but from a gut health perspective.”
This stems from the idea of utilising the whole animal as a source of nutrition.
“People are turning back to how our grandparents and our great grandparents and our ancestors before us ate, which is to utilise the whole animal as a source of nutrition.
“They are recognising that the source of their ill health or the source of their disease is the diet, because they're over consuming ultra-processed foods, sugar, seed oils.
“They are now taking that out of their diet and adding in nutritious animal-based foods that have been the staple of our diet from many years ago,” he explained.
Trend Vs health value
Cheong, who also presented the topic ‘Meat is not the enemy. How a sustainable food system can exist with animals' at the Growth Asia Summit, believes that organ meats and red meats are rich sources of multivitamins and protein respectively.
“The most nutritionally dense foods are animal products, and from a protein perspective, the best place to get protein is from red meat. And the most optimal way to get multivitamins and minerals are from organ meats,” he said.
In fact, he believes that some of the plant-based products are created because it is trendy to do so, and less so because of its nutritional value.
“I think that there’s a bit of opportunistic marketing and product development around that (plant-based) because they're seeing a trend.
“And they're going after that trend without thinking if it’s better for your health. We don't even ask the question anymore.
“Some people would say that plant based is obviously better for your health when it’s actually not,” he said.
The much-discussed plant-based diet, he pointed out, has a number of downsides to it.
This is because plant-based diets are related to issues such as low protein bioavailability, ultra-processing, and the overconsumption of calories, he said.
“People that partake in a plant-based diet overconsume calories because they have to eat a lot of calories to get their protein requirements.
“Also, a lot of the protein is bound up with phytotoxic chemicals that don't allow those proteins to be unpacked and then be bioavailable, and so plant-based protein is not as bioavailable.
“If you're eating plant based processed foods, you’re consuming all of these extra sugars, seed oils and other ingredients that are actually bad for you,” he explained.
Popularity in South Korea, US
The company has plans to take its bone broth business to South Korea and the US where it is seeing strong market demand.
In South Korea, bone broth concentrates are usually taken as a hotpot soup base or sauce.
In the US, ready-to-drink bone broth in tetra packs are some of the more popular products.
In Australia, bone broth powder is one of the popular formats and the company has plans to create new products in the form of powder and sauces as well.
Time, temperature, and the starting materials are the three main criteria in preparing the bone broth concentrate correctly, said Cheong.
This is because cooking the bones for too long could potentially release histamines, which could have a negative effect to the digestive system.