Cranberries have for a long time been used as a superfood ingredient in the EU and the US, thanks to their well-documented benefits in the area of urinary health. However, manufacturers are now to look to use the superfruits in products in Asia, combining ingredients popular in the West with traditional Eastern foods. Through the new partnership, Ocean Spray will provide sweetened dried cranberries for ChiaTe's pineapple cake range. According to the company, the cakes are a traditional Taiwanese product eaten all year round, and is often given as a luxury gift or bought as a souvenir by tourists. A spokesperson told BakeryAndSnacks.com that the company decided to enter into the agreement following the success of a Chinese mooncake product made with its cranberries, launched in the country last November. Although Ocean Spray has in this instance focused on traditional food products, the area also holds opportunities for manufacturers wishing to introduce more Western-style products to the area. Indeed, last December the company reported a huge leap in income from its cranberry products in Asia, saying that sales in that region grew by some 30 per cent in 2007 alone. Global marketing manager Arun Hiranandani said at the time that new cranberry products are emerging "at a rapid pace" to cater to the demands of an emergent Asian middle class. Consumers in this region have more disposable income and so are increasingly interested in purchasing foods they conceive to be 'health boosting', he said. As well as studies exploring the effect of cranberry on urinary health, the berries have also been linked to anti-bacterial benefits as well as helping fight some forms of cancer. In terms of the overall bakery market, the Asia-Pacific region witnessed value growth in the baked goods sector of 3.7 per cent in 2006, according to Euromonitor.