Fonterra eyes booming wellbeing and medical nutrition markets in China, SEA with new portfolio

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Examples of product formats by Fonterra's newly launched B2B brand Nutiani.
Examples of product formats by Fonterra's newly launched B2B brand Nutiani.

Related tags: Fonterra, Nutiani

The wellbeing and medical nutrition sectors are booming in China and South East Asia (SEA), says New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra, which has introduced a new portfolio aimed at tackling these needs.

Known as Nutiani, the business-to-business brand focuses on the physical, inner, and mental wellbeing sectors, which Fonterra said were growing at six per cent per year and worth US$66bn, citing statistics from Euromonitor.

Under physical wellbeing, the firm said it would address concerns such as muscle health and sarcopenia, mobility, weight management, and malnutrition.

On the other hand, its inner wellbeing portfolio would include immunity, digestive, metabolic health, and beauty from within, while cognitive health, stress and mood and sleep are part of its mental wellbeing category.

The portfolio would provide services across market insights, product development, and scientifically backed ingredients from Fonterra itself, such as lactoferrin, probiotics, and lipids. 

“We see a clear opportunity to win in critical segments of the global wellbeing nutrition space.

“We will use Fonterra’s existing expertise in nutrition science to develop targeted solutions, while opening up opportunities for strategic partnerships to deliver access to new markets and consumers,”​ said chief innovation and brand officer Komal Mistry-Mehta.

Within Asia-Pacific, the company sees the biggest opportunities for Nutiani in China and South East Asia, Mistry-Mehta highlighted.

Citing figures from Euromonitor, she said that the physical, mental and inner wellbeing space has been growing at 12 per cent per year in China and 7.5 per cent per year in SEA – both faster than the global rate of six per cent.

The Asia-Pacific region is undergoing profound and rapid population changes. The populations of all countries in this region are ageing at an unprecedented pace, although the timing and pace of this transition varies across the region.

“Additionally, consumers of all ages are increasingly health conscious and focusing more on the scientific evidence behind the products as well as the quality and sustainability of food, beverages and supplements. Consequently, the APAC region is one of the largest markets for Nutiani,” ​she said in response to queries from NutraIngredients-Asia.

FSMP’s rise in China

In addition, government’s policies have also pushed wellbeing and medical nutrition, such as Foods for Special Medical Purposes (FSMP) to the forefront.

Mistry-Mehta gave the example of China, where the state council has introduced the "Clinical Nutrition Action", an initiative under the National Nutrition Plan 2017-2030.

It is aimed at strengthening clinical nutrition screening and diagnosis of patients, promoting nutritional support, boosting the prevention and treatment of nutrition-related chronic diseases, and promoting the standardised application of FSMP.

“From the market point of view, according to the China Health Statistics Yearbook 2021, the number of hospital admissions in China was 230m in 2020. As demand increases because of China’s ageing population, the market will continue to grow.

“The study also shows that the market size of China's FSMP industry had increased from RMB 4 bn in 2016 to RMB 7.72 bn by 2020.”

Globally, the medical nutrition industry is also booming, she said, adding that the global market scale was worth US$50bn, with half of it coming from APAC.

“In many developed countries, the application of FSMP is widespread and in a long history. After years of development, there is an extensive range of related products overseas that can meet the therapeutic/adjunctive treatment and/or nutritional needs of people with different diseases or specific medical conditions,” ​she said.

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