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Aker given green light for krill supply in high-potential China market

By RJ Whitehead , 02-Jan-2014

Aker BioMarine, one of the world’s biggest of krill-derived omega-3 phospholipid products, has achieved New Food Raw Material status for Superba krill in China meaning it can now enter the potentially lucrative Chinese market. 

"We are pleased with the outcome of the review of clinical and safety data of krill oil by the National Health and Family Planning Commission and delighted to be able to announce that we can now enter the Chinese market with Superba krill," said Andreas Thorud, Aker’s chief representative for China in Shanghai. 

As a result, Aker has expanded its team in China by hiring Jim Wang as regulatory and business development manager. Wang will support Aker’s customers as they go through the country’s onerous regulatory application processes.

We welcome Jim to our team. Entering the Chinese health food market is a huge opportunity and a milestone for our worldwide expansion. We feel confident that with our local presence we can fully support our customers in this key market,” said Tim de Haas, vice-president for business development at Aker BioMarine.

High potential

China’s dietary supplement market provides a massive opportunity for suppliers of products like krill oil, with a high proportion of young Chinese consumers buying health products, according to the US-China Health Products Association in report it released last month.

Zang Yonjiang, director of food and drug development monitoring at the state-run Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, was quoted in the report as having found that 68.8% of Chinese consumers bought health foods, which is the regulatory category that includes dietary supplements, in the first-half of last year, showing a huge potential for these products.

Meanwhile, Dimitri Sclabos, president of krill and marine consulting company Tharos, has said that China will surpass US and EU markets in the nutraceutical consumption of krill over the next four to five years, although newcomers like Aker will be able to shed greater light on trends in the country.

Great unknown

Much has been said of the great Chinese potential but still the knowledge is limited about the complexities of dealing in this market,” wrote Tharos in a report last year on the Chinese krill market. “This is valid for insurgents as well as for incumbents.”

China will become the largest krill-end products market, in terms of volume production as well as demand. Its own fishing fleet will supply part of the demand, the balance for few chosen ones. Remains to be seen the ratio between local versus foreign supply.

For corporations without a history in this market, sales and distribution complexities will prevail, their costs will be higher and distribution capabilities diminished,” wrote Tharos.

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