Wellness enhancement: How combined hemp and Ayurveda innovation could hold key to capturing mass market
India’s Hemp Horizons believes that a innovation approach combining the nutrition of hemp seeds with the wellness benefits of Ayurveda could hold the key to the sector appealing to a larger consumer base.
Food regulators in markets across Asia, notably India and Thailand, have loosened restrictions on hemp seeds and related products in recent years, with consumer interest also growing amid a strong health and wellness focus.
Hemp seeds boast a whole host of nutritional benefits from being high in protein and omega fatty acids to being anti-oxidative.
But Hemp Horizon’s believes the integration of additional Ayurvedic herbs could boost the value proposition.
Mumbai-headquartered ProV Foods is doubling down on healthy on-the-go snacks and flavour innovations, amid rising demand for snacks with functional benefits in the country.
There are several categories that remain untapped in India’s nascent healthy snacking sector, according to Shalin Khanna, co-founder and CMO of ProV Foods.
“One category that is underserved and has lots of space for innovation is ‘bars and bites’, such as nutrition bars. Post-COVID, increased health consciousness is a global phenomenon. In India, curated meals and diets such as paleo, ketogenic, and Mediterranean have picked up a lot of steam.
Fonterra brand Nurture plans to expand its powdered probiotic drink range to target stress-relief and skin health this year.
The brand is simultaneously introducing the range offline in Singapore and exploring potential markets in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.
All these are part of Fonterra’s strategic move into the wellness sector and positioning South East Asia as its regional hub. Nurture introduced a series of products, including Digestion + Immunity last April followed by Digestion + Energy and Digestion + Focus in November.
‘Added sugar’ definition: FSANZ agrees to industry requests for longer transition, rejects low-energy sugar exclusions
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has formally gazetted the definition of ‘added sugars’ to be used as part of its upcoming ‘no added sugars’ labelling policy, and has allowed for a longer transition time based on proposals from the food and beverage industry.
The process to properly define ‘added sugars’ was started by the government back in September 2023 upon request from Australia and New Zealand ministers, sparking a call for public comment that saw FSANZ receive over 80 responses from the food and beverage industry and general public.
One of the most common requests made were to lengthen the transition period for classifying certain sugars or ingredients within the proposed ‘added sugars’ list from the initially proposed two years.
Sense and solubility: Mouthfeel and taste key for fortified beverages to appeal to older APAC consumer base
Better-for-you beverages fortified with minerals such as calcium need to ensure a smooth mouthfeel and taste to meet rising demand from older consumers in APAC.
According to palm oil giant Musim Mas, this is just as important as meeting health and wellness trends.
“We [see] a great demand for healthy, fortified beverages [especially] as older consumers become more educated and aware of what they are consuming,” Musim Mas Manager for Dairy and Frozen Desserts Cecilia Ng told FoodNavigator-Asia.