Latest research from market analyst Mintel shows that the Asia Pacific rim is bursting with food and nutraceutical innovations such as banana-flavoured mayonnaise and green tea cereal.
For example, consumers in South Korea can now enjoy banana-flavoured mayonnaise as a 'different kind' of salad accompaniment. New from Daesang Food in South Korea, Chungjungwon mayonnaise for kids is packaged in a bottle with a cap shaped like a duck's head and beak.
Fun colours and flavours will generally appeal to children anywhere in the world but are not often seen as a selling point by their parents, who may have concerns about food additives. This product seems to be an attractive proposition to both groups.
From the parental point of view, it is free from artificial flavours, colours and preservatives, and at the same time fortified with several important ingredients for children's nutrition.
Beauty foods, or cosmeceuticals, have all had their start in Asia, usually Japan and have almost always been beverages, snacks, or yogurts. Now, beauty foods are extended to instant soups with Nissin Food Products' Biken Kenshoku new collagen soup, once again first seen in Japan.
The company claims this soup contains 1000mg of Collagen per serving, and is aimed at beauty and health-conscious consumers in their 20s to 40s.
Realistically, it is unlikely that this particular product would extend out of Asia into Europe or the Americas. However, it is instructive to see how the cosmeceutical trend continues to grow and develop in Asia, as we are beginning to see beauty beverages in the West, said David Jago, director of Mintel's GNPD.
Toothpastes are undergone a flavour revolution as Mintel highlights a pack of toothpaste from Margaret Josefine in Japan that offers no fewer than 31 different flavours - a different flavoured toothpaste for every day of the month that include café au lait, Indian curry or pumpkin pudding flavours.
"On a more serious note, this is a bold step in a market dominated by mint flavours and the range of flavour options fits perfectly with the increasing demand for personal, customised solutions. It is also available as a 7-flavour pack for one week, and the little 25g tubes are portable, to encourage people to try all the flavour options in or out of the home," said Yago.
Green tea cereal from Japan could also find favour among health-conscious consumers in the west. This rice-based cereal from Nissin contains green tea powder, green tea extract, and gyokuro tea and provides one-third of the requirement of vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and niacin.
"Green tea is known for its antioxidant health benefits, and is widely drunk both hot and cold around the world. Although we do see green tea appearing in some other forms, it is not often that we see it in a breakfast cereal," said Yago.