New nutraceutical processing plant spears Asian market

By Lindsey Partos

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Dietary supplement

Supplement makers could soon benefit from a new nutraceutical
processing platform as Canadian local government gives backing to
start-up life science firm Atlantic New Technology Development.

The Nova Scotia province, through business development agency Nova Scotia Business, has pledged a five-year payroll rebate, set at a maximum of $133,845, to help create up to 20 new jobs in Truro within the next five years. Spearing opportunities in burgeoning Asian markets, the Truro-based company's first venture will be a research and processing facility. The firm plans to use a broad range of local raw materials, including blueberries, cranberries, flax seed, mussels and lobster shells, to create products that target the growing supplement, health food and cosmetic markets. "The demand in China for a made-in-Canada brand has never been stronger,"​ said Atlantic New Technology Development president Grace Chum. "Exporting to new markets is vital for today's companies,"​ added Economic Development Minister Angus MacIsaac. Indeed, the Asia Pacific market for nutraceutical products by far exceeds that of North America and Europe, according to data recently pooled from different market research firms. The region accounted for 44 percent of global nutraceutical sales in 2006, compared to 32 percent for North America and 14 percent for Western Europe. According to figures drawn together by Capsugel's global business development manager for dietary supplements, Peter Zambetti, the Asia Pacific region "is quite surprisingly the largest global market. There's a lot of change going on right now, and a lot of opportunities for dietary supplements."​ Zambetti, who is also in the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Association's (IADSA) global market affairs department, was addressing attendees at the recent Supply Side East trade show in Secaucus, New Jersey, where he presented an overview of the global nutraceuticals market. Included in Zambetti's definition of 'nutraceuticals' were vitamins, dietary supplements, botanicals, tonics and homeopathic remedies. According to the data he pooled from Euromonitor, Datamonitor, Mintel and Nutrition Business Journal​, the global market for these products was worth over $52bn in 2006 - the latest comprehensive figures available - with estimates suggesting that the market has since grown an additional 4-6 percent. The US remained the largest single nation market, with 2006 sales placed at $15.6bn. Japan was the second single largest market, worth $11.4bn despite a significant decline in sales from prior years brought on by regulatory changes that have placed pressure on the industry. China came third, with sales of $5.9bn in 2006, while South Korea was next, with a market valued at $1.9bn. In break-down of the market preferences in different regions around the world Zambetti in China the most popular single nutraceutical was calcium, which saw sales of around $1bn in 2006. Protein powder was next, with sales of around $700m. Zambetti highlighted the fact that protein powder is particularly popular as a gift in China, where it is often presented to hosts in the same way that western consumers may present wine as a gift. Multivitamins were the third largest single category, accounting for over $600m in sales. Tonics came close behind followed by child-specific products at just under $400m. Ginseng accounted for over $350m in sales while fish oils were around the $100m mark, followed by minerals. China also had a large "other"​ category, which accounted for over $1.5bn in sales. This included combination formulas, Lingzhi and E-Jiao, which is made from donkey hides, and which is thought to help with diarrhea. During 2007, Zambetti said that growth in the Chinese market slowed to six percent on the back of direct selling issues.

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