Intra-regional finesse is a necessity not a luxury when it comes to doing business in the many markets of the Asia-Pacific, as leading suppliers Chr Hansen and Danisco relayed at the recent Vitafoods Asia trade show in Hong Kong.
"It is very difficult for us as food ingredient suppliers to talk about one Asia,” said Bram van Hulsen, Danisco BioActives’regional director for the Asia Pacific.
"With the almost universal focus on the BRIC countries and India and China having such a focus you almost forget that there are 260 million inhabitants in Indonesia, or there are about 85 million in Thailand. So yes these markets are very interesting for us.”
Henning Villadsen, Chr Hansen’s sales health and nutrition sales director for the Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, highlighted some regulatory variances company’s needed to jeep abreast of.
“In India a probiotic is considered as something that has to have a drug approval so there we have to follow the drug regulations. So that is a different way to the market compared to the rest of the countries out here.”
“Right now in India there are a group working on trying to see if it can establish a dietary supplement category. Of course we participate in trying to influence that process because that would be a much easier and faster route to market.”