Already present in Korea, South Island-based Aroma NZ is currently registering in China, a market that its management believes will provide the company with a launchpad for Asian growth.
Ben Winters, Aroma’s director, believes the region’s ageing population will drive demand for anti-inflammatory products such as his company’s extracts.
“Green lipped mussels are a potent source of omega-3 and have a powerful anti-inflammatory action. We have scientific evidence supporting the use of green lipped mussels for joint pain relief,” he said.
Clinical trials have shown that Aroma’s green lipped mussel powder capsules, GlycOmega-Plus, can significantly reduce joint pain for arthritis sufferers. The company also plans to expand its current oil extraction plant to cater for the increased demand from Asia.
“A university clinical study confirmed significant relief for 59 per cent of arthritis sufferers who took mussel power product during a landmark eight-week trial. Our green shell mussel product definitely contains significant anti-inflammatory properties," said Winters.
Since the Christchurch earthquakes, Aroma has opened a new, more expansive factory to the east of the city which allows them to extract omega-three fatty acids and lipids from marine and botanical ingredients using super-critical fluid extraction without using toxic chemicals or solvents.
“We continue to invest in research and development and work closely with New Zealand Plant & Food in Nelson, which has excellent marine scientists. With an ageing population in Asia, we'll be focusing on promoting our green-lipped mussel as a natural joint care supplement.
“Inflammation is one of the most widespread diseases in the world and as people age, joints and tendons start to wear and large numbers of people experience osteo and rheumatoid arthritis.”
The company has also been looking to expand its pet-food sales, which Aroma belies would provide a sizeable market in China. Pets there are particularly pampered there after decades of the country having a one-child policy—though it ended in October—and are often treated like family members.
“Purchasing premium pet food and supplements to keep their pets healthy is a top priority,” Winters said.
“Thousands of consumers and pets worldwide use our green-lipped mussel products so if we can spread the word on the healing benefits of green-lipped mussels, people and pets’ daily lives will prosper."