Trend tracker: A closer look at nutra markets across Vietnam, India, and South Korea

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Exclusive insights in Vietnam's, India's, and South Korea's nutraceutical markets

Related tags Probiotics Vitamins Weight management

Here is the round-up of the latest nutraceutical trends in Asia-Pacific, including exclusive analysis in Vietnam and India market trends, and how South Korea is seeing a fast growth for its functional probiotics market.
Vietnam nutra market: Bone, cognition health trending, with botanicals and traditional formats popular – Exclusive insights

Bone and cognitive health needs are cited as the trending nutraceutical categories in Vietnam, but companies should keep in mind how the market is still heavily rooted in herbal formulations with a preference for basic dosage formats, despite its rapid modernisation and higher spending power.

There has been a flurry of activities in the country’s nutraceutical space in recent months, including the official launch of Haleon’s Centrum multivitamins.

According to data NutraIngredients-Asia​ had gathered from the Vietnam Association of Functional Foods (VAFF), Vietnam’s dietary supplement market is made up of 60 per cent local products and 40 per cent imported products.

LISTEN: South Korea’s functional probiotics market sees faster growth than generic strains – AceBiome CEO​  

South Korea’s functional proprietary probiotics market is growing at a faster rate than the generic gut health category, says the CEO of biotech firm AceBiome in our latest Nutrachampion podcast.

Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia ​in March’s episode of Nutrachampion, Kim pointed out that the probiotics market has been witnessing tough competition in recent years, but companies could seek to differentiate their products by using strains that offer specific health benefits.

Especially in South Korea, functional probiotics, or proprietary probiotic strains making specific health claims​ spanning across weight management, cognitive health, are seeing a faster growth rate than generic products designed for general gut health, she said.

Rise of retro: Cheong Kwan Jang rides “grandmillennial” trend to launch red ginseng-infused traditional snacks

Korea Ginseng Corporation (KGC)-owned brand Cheong Kwan Jang has actively expanded its red ginseng snacks line-up to target young consumers amid a thriving retro craze.

“Haemaenial”​, or grandmilllenial, is a portmanteau coined from a combination of halmae​, which means grandmother in Korean dialect, and millennial. The term refers to the trend of young Koreans lapping up foods and other consumables traditionally enjoyed by the older generations.

The brand recently jumped on the bandwagon with its launch of red ginseng snacks, adding to its recent launch of Red Ginseng Ice Macaron – a macaron ice cream sandwich made with Cheong Kwan Jang’s six-year-old red ginseng concentrate.

Diverse and dynamic: Changing taste and health considerations of Indian consumers driving snack evolution

India’s Beyond Snack has observed significant evolution of the branded snacks category in the local market, marked by a “discernible shift” towards health-consciousness, authenticity, and premiumisation.

It noticed that consumers are increasingly favouring snacks that not only offer convenience and taste, but also align with their nutritional preferences and dietary needs.

One area ripe for innovation is leveraging superfoods and incorporating them into snack recipes to attract health-conscious customers looking for nutrient-dense options, said Manas Madhu, co-founder of Beyond Snack.

India market opportunities: Weight, beauty, sports driving growth, but more attention needed on FSMP, glucose control

India’s nutraceutical sector is rapidly expanding with start-ups, local players, and international brands entering the space, but the market is far from overcrowded and there is still growth space, according to insiders.

The market might be saturated for commoditised categories such as fish oil, but this is not the case for differentiated products that address common consumer needs such as weight management, beauty-from-within, and sleep support products, said Nihaal Mariwala, CEO and founder of nutraceutical firm Setu Nutrition.

There is also a lack of supplements or awareness of such products for blood glucose management and FSMPs for cancer nutrition, according to Pradip Chakraborty, director to local firm Ishaanav Nutraceuticals.

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