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Vitafoods Asia: Which APAC nutrition trends should you watch in 2022?

Source:Informa Markets Release Date:2022-09-22 1160
Food, Beverage & Personal CareFood & BeverageFood & Beverage IngredientsFood Processing & Equipment
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Over two years on, the coronavirus pandemic is still shaping attitudes towards health across Asia-Pacific. As restrictions stay in place in many of the region's countries, consumers are more health-conscious than ever – in fact, 58% of APAC consumers say they are more health-conscious today than they were two years ago.[1] And over one third (36%) say it's because of increased concern about COVID-19.[2] Add to this a rapidly growing and ageing population, that consumers are increasingly researching healthy lifestyles and foods, and that rising middle classes have more income at their disposal to spend on their health, and it's no surprise that consumers are taking a proactive approach to their wellbeing. With so much impacting what consumers are looking for next when it comes to their health, it's essential brands stay on top of the latest trends and spot emerging opportunities for innovation. Here are 3 trends shaping nutrition in APAC in 2022.

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1.     Mind and body matters

If there's one trend that's been catapulted forward due to the pandemic, it's holistic health. During the pandemic, consumers that once considered themselves 'healthy' had to face their potential vulnerabilities and as a result, are now seeking solutions to achieve overall wellbeing, as opposed to 'fixing' single health issues. In fact, consumers in APAC are more likely than those in other regions to take a proactive approach to their health – 28% do so despite not having specific symptoms to address.[3] In contrast, only 12% of North American consumers report taking a proactive approach, with 21% instead identifying specific health issues to address.[4]  And a proactive and holistic approach to wellness doesn't stop with the body – mental wellbeing is today viewed with equal importance to physical health. The proportion of APAC consumers satisfied with their cognitive health dropped from 56% in 2018 to 45% in 2021.[5] And so, many health-savvy consumers are researching natural ingredients to support both body and mind – such as botanicals and adaptogens. This presents an opportunity for brands to innovate with natural, proven, and on-trend ingredients to support both mental and physical health.


2.     Convenience rules

Today's consumers are inordinately busy, and they want products that reflect that. Specifically, they want convenient nutritional products can easily be added to their daily routine. Functional foods – a concept that arguably has its roots in the region – are hugely popular with APAC consumers for this reason. These formats also allow formulators to innovate with flavour and user experience, opening opportunities to capitalise too on the latest taste and format trends. As such, the APAC market for functional foods is predicted to reach a value of US$8.14 billion by the end of 2032.[6] But functional foods are not the only way APAC consumers are supporting their health; supplement use is on the rise, too. One in five APAC consumers are using supplements to support their health,[7] and the category has an expected CAGR of +18.2% between 2017 and 2022.[8] In particular, gummies, powder sticks and small pills / capsules are growing in popularity as they can all easily be incorporated into consumer diets without additional fuss, and even on-the-go.


3.     Gut health growth

The holistic, proactive approach to health is perhaps best shown by the growth of the gut health category. Globally, two thirds of consumers want gut health products even if they're not suffering from symptoms.[9] And this trend is being observed across the APAC , too – six in ten Chinese consumers are concerned about potentially developing digestive issues in the future.[10] In 2022, digestive health – or commonly, gut health – encompasses more than it ever has before. As scientific research advances, the gut microbiome's influence on health is being highlighted. In fact, two in three consumers believe the gut is key to achieving overall wellbeing,[11] such as mental health, immunity, skin health, obesity, diabetes and more. As a result, there's big demand for gut health products. Launches of food, drink and supplements digestive health claims in APAC have grown 23% in the last five years.[12] And research-savvy consumers are more aware of gut health ingredients – including not just probiotics, but emerging prebiotic ingredients, too.[13]  In fact, the APAC market for prebiotics expected to reach a CAGR 15.6% between 2020-2028,[14] making it a key ingredient to watch. To harness this awareness, brands can leverage trending ingredients like prebiotics to tap into the range of health claims linked to the gut microbiome.


Discover more on the latest APAC nutrition trends at Vitafoods Asia 2022 (QSNCC, Bangkok, Thailand, 5–7 October and online 26 Sept – 10 Oct 2022) – including from Mintel and Innova Market Insights – to help you find your next business opportunity: https://www.vitafoodsasia.com/en/home.html

[1] FMCG Gurus, ‘Active Nutrition Regional Report  – Asia Pacific’, 2022

[2] FMCG Gurus, ‘Active Nutrition Regional Report  – Asia Pacific’, 2022

[3] FMCG Gurus, ‘Active Nutrition Regional Report  – Asia Pacific’, 2022

[4] FMCG Gurus, ‘Active Nutrition Regional Report  – North America’, 2022

[5] FMCG Gurus, ‘Assessing the Importance of Cognitive Health – Global Report’, 2021

[6] Future Market Insights, ‘APAC Functional Food Ingredients Market Overview’, 2022

[7] FMCG Gurus, ‘Nutritional Supplements: Consumer Cohort Trends – Asia Pacific’, 2021

[8] Innova Market Insights, ‘Supplements in APAC’, 2022

[9] FMCG Gurus, Five Trends Your Brand Must Monitor in 2022, 2022

[10] Mintel survey of 3,000 Chinese internet users aged 18-59; 2021

[11] Innova Market Insights, Top Ten Trends 2022

[12] Mintel, Global New Products Database, 2022

[13] FMCG Gurus, 2020

[14] Research And Markets, ‘Asia Pacific Prebiotics Market report’, 2022

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