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Vitafoods Asia 2017: Meeting the region's nutraceutical needs
Healthy ageing, digestive health, and personalised nutrition are top-of-mind.

As the final preparations for Vitafoods Asia round off, Informa Exhibitions looks forward to welcoming trade professionals to discover, learn, and network at Asia's only dedicated event for the nutraceutical, functional food and beverages, and dietary supplement industries. From 5 to 6 September 2017, uncover the latest innovations and key developments that will impact industry and product development at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

"At each edition of Vitafoods Asia, our various partners and industry experts actively contribute by sharing their in-depth insights with us and the industry at large - both leading up to and at the show," said Chris Lee, Managing Director of Global Health & Nutrition Network, Europe, Informa Exhibitions. "Their extensive knowledge of global industry trends and broad exposure to the cutting-edge innovations have helped many companies in shaping their business development plans. We are delighted to have some of the best minds from both the commercial industry and academia share more about the hottest trends across the region at Vitafoods Asia, whether in the Conference or on and around the show floor."

Healthy ageing: a pressing concern for Asia

According to United Nations' Economic & Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), about 60% of the world's population of older persons, defined as people at 60 years or older, live in the Asia Pacific region. Population ageing is happening at an unprecedented pace because fertility rates have been declining rapidly, while life expectancy has improved tremendously. In fact, the number of older persons in Asia Pacific is expected to more than double from 547 million in 2016 to nearly 1.3 billion by 2050.

Clearly, the notion of healthy ageing is a pressing concern for Asia Pacific countries and its people, and this presents opportunities for the nutraceutical sector. Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights, commented, "Mobility-related health issues - like osteoporosis, bone health and joint health problems - are amongst the most important concerns for Asian consumers. Asian manufacturers have focused on developing healthy ageing products, and we've seen a surge in mobility platforms in the last five years."

Carolina Orgonez, Industry Analyst at Euromonitor International, concurs that the outlook for healthy ageing is positive in Asia. She shared, "As the demographic panorama shifts to an older generation, calcium supplements, glucosamine, and vitamin D supplements are expected to reach global sales of $9.95 billion by 2021. There are 3.66 billion women on earth and the fastest-growing segment for healthy ageing is the group above 65 years of age. Over half of this elderly female population is concentrated in Asia Pacific, which will reach 213 million women by 2021. The right positioning of products towards women's health will be one of the key drivers of growth. As the ageing population of women continues to grow, together with a generation more concerned about healthy ageing, there will be a global increase in consumer health demand for joint and bone health support."

Digestive health to feature prominently

This year, with the support of the International Probiotics Association (IPA) and sponsorship of DuPont Nutrition & Health, Vitafoods Asia presents the Digestive Health and Microbiome Summit as part of its Conference programme.

The Asia Pacific region accounted for an estimated 38% majority share of the global probiotics market in 2016, and the rise in consumer awareness of health benefits from probiotics, coupled with the sheer size of this market segment, signals more growth opportunities in the foreseeable future.

Williams added, "In terms of new product development, dairy remains the top market category for product launches with probiotic claims in Asia, and over half of those launches tracked are of yoghurt drinks. The region is traditionally a strong market for probiotic dairy drinks, as probiotic shots like Yakult's are popular in Asia. Digestive and gut health claims have been the dominating product positioning for most new launches, but many probiotic products often feature multiple health claims, including immune health."

The rise of personalised nutrition

Yet another hot topic that will receive attention at the upcoming edition of Vitafoods Asia is the area of personalised nutrition. According to Herbalife's Asia Pacific Balanced Nutrition Survey, one in three consumers here are keen on personalised nutrition products and nutrigenomics. However, due to a lack of practitioners in the region, such products have generally been too costly for consumers.

Lee concluded, "With a comprehensive portfolio of exhibitors and wide range of activities to choose from, there's something for every visitor at Vitafoods Asia this year."

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