Demand and supply of fortified foods skyrocketing in Asia-Pacific

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“Food fortification” means the addition of nutrients such as proteins, minerals and vitamins to improve the nutritional value of food products and beverages. Prominent groups such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization consider food fortification to be a key strategy to combat malnutrition worldwide. Overall, the food fortification market is also flourishing with strong support from government organizations.

Many developing and underdeveloped countries are getting ahead of the curve and mandating food fortification. This has led to a surge in the growth of the fortified foods market across various regions.

North America dominates the food fortification market due to high consumer demand for value-added products. But the Asia-Pacific region has seen the highest growth rate of fortified foods due to growing health concerns and frequent health crises.

The APAC market

The APAC food fortification market is expected to grow tremendously at a CAGR of over 18% from 2022 to 2027. Countries like India, Australia, and Vietnam are now mandating staple food fortification routinely and widely consumed as wheat, rice, edible oil, and milk with vitamins and certain minerals such as iron and iodine.

Within APAC, the consumption of fortified foods is high in countries like China, Japan, and India, which together account for around 60% of the APAC fortified food market share.

The food fortification industry has also become a major player for premixes of ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, proteins and amino acids. However, the market is facing constraints in terms of high raw material and processing costs.

Emerging economies such as China and India are likely to experience growing demand for vitamin-rich foods. These countries are further expanding their fortified food production capacities through better supply of raw materials such as premixes.

Besides these leaders, countries like Vietnam and Australia are also major players in fortified foods, both in terms of high consumption and local production.

APAC Market Leaders: An Overview

China

China is the leader in food fortification in Asia-Pacific, holding nearly 25% market share. The country is the fastest growing market, with a booming demand for functional foods and beverages. A majority of the population is struggling with iron and zinc deficiency, which has led to an increase in cases of anemia and neural tube defect. This, in turn, has accelerated the demand for fortified staples such as wheat and rice with added iron, zinc and folic acid.

China is also emerging as a fortified food production hub, capable of meeting nearly 80% of local demand, including for fortified infant foods. Research and development opportunities are also accelerating the production of fortified foods in China. The Chinese production market is gaining competitiveness thanks to its supply chain of raw materials, especially for vitamins, which are widely preferred in most food products. Besides supplying premixes to the local market, China is the main exporter of vitamins to most Asian countries such as Japan, Malaysia and Thailand.

China’s food fortification industry and related industries such as premixes/fortifying agents are well supported by Chinese government initiatives such as “Healthy China 2030” or the US-China Trade Agreement of 2020 allowing the importation of fortified milk produced in the United States. China.

From a regulatory perspective, China also maintains strict standards for fortified foods, which must be met by local manufacturers as well as importers.

India

Currently, India accounts for 20% of the fortified food market in Asia Pacific as it experiences rapid population growth, developing the food industry with innovative food formats and regulatory support. In India, fortification was previously limited to iodine-enriched salt, but with growing problems of malnutrition, the government has extended its mandate to other food products such as edible oil, milk and white rice. These staple foods should be fortified with nutrients such as vitamins A and D, folic acid, iron, iodine and vitamin B12. This initiative has significantly boosted the fortified food market as well as the vitamin and mineral premix market in India.

India retains a significant market share for fortifiers/premixes. Vitamin premixes with vitamin C are the most popular, accounting for over 50% of overall vitamin consumption in the country. However, vitamin B12, vitamin D and vitamin B9 are also expected to see significant growth opportunities. This is due to the increased use as fortifying agents for edible oil, milk and infant formula, after the introduction of food fortification requirements by the government to address malnutrition in children from less than five years.

India is self-sufficient to meet premix requirements for fortification. Moreover, it has been identified as an exporter of vitamins to Bangladesh, New Zealand, some European countries and the United States.

In terms of regulations, India has a mandatory fortification requirement for certain food products. Apart from this, India has a distinct logo for the fortified food category – “+F” – which was launched in 2018. This logo has further given a distinct identity to the fortified food companies across the country .

Japan

Food fortification in Japan is usually done for food products made from wheat, corn and rice, with nutrients such as folic acid, iron and vitamin A. The Japanese market holds almost 15% of the APAC market and growth is expected with the growing popularity of ‘health foods’ in the country.

Japan meets 60% of its fortified food needs through local production while exporting fortified foods to other APAC countries such as China. On the other hand, the country’s need for fortifying agents is met by importing items from China. The major demand for these fortifying agents such as vitamins B3, E and C comes from the milk and infant formula segment, two major growth prospects for Japan.

In terms of regulations, Japan has strict quality regulations regarding the nutritional value of fortified foods and its labeling claims. While fortified foods are heavily consumed in the country, local awareness of food fortification is limited due to unclear segmentation of product lines as they are simply categorized as health foods. This somewhat hampers market growth in Japan.

Rest of APAC

Vietnam and Australia have also seen peak demand and growth for fortified foods due to sustained economic growth, expanding food sectors and increasing exports. In Australia, market growth is mainly driven by the production of nutritionally-based functional foods and maximizing exports to countries like China, especially for fortified dairy products.

Besides all this, a major supporting pillar for the growth of fortified foods in these countries is the mandatory fortification requirements set for specific food categories. For example, under Australian regulatory requirements, millers must fortify wheat flours for baking with folic acid. These countries are also seeing huge growth opportunities for fortified foods.

Conclusion

The APAC market is expected to be self-sufficient in meeting its fortified food needs, thanks to the fact that it is a major fortified food production hub. Extensive government support, along with growing localization and a strong raw material supply chain, together strengthen APAC’s position in the food fortification segment. In addition, robust growth can be assured by increasing consumer awareness of food fortification and its benefits, significantly increasing fortification coverage for other products, and increasing product visibility in retail stores. detail.

About the Author:

Himani Mainali (himani.mainali@chembizr.com) is Associate Consultant, Food and Nutrition, for ChemBizR. ChemBizR is a research and business advisory partner to chemical companies worldwide, involved in solving companies’ critical business challenges and strategic growth initiatives to help them transform their business for sustainable growth in a highly competitive environment. and rapidly evolving. For more information, email connect@chembizr.com.

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