China's rate of obesity is well below that of the United States, but with 1.3 billion inhabitants, this still represents significant market potential. To garner this, Astor Ridge says it is investing $15mn into a public awareness campaign focussing on infomercial and print advertising efforts to coincide with the retail sales of the product.
This type of move could spur other American weight loss supplement manufacturers to do the same thing that side of the Pacific.
Buying power of many Chinese has catapulted in recent years and gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to continue growing by 9.5-10 percent this year, putting the nutraceutical and functional food industries in a good position for growth in the coming year.
The combination of extra pocket money and the influx of Western style fast foods has been blamed in part for the national weight gain.
"This is certainly a tremendous opportunity for us," said Astor Ridge marketing VP, Roger Halberstram. "We are quite confident in our abilities to accomplish some really great things in China and beyond that region."
Already marketed in North America and Europe, Zylorin is Astor Ridge's proprietary blend of herbal hoodia gordonii, chromium, phosphatidylserine, green tea and beta-sitosterol.
According to Astor Ridge, in China's urban areas the rate of overweight individuals is on the rise, with 12.3 percent obese. The company said it is finalizing its launch into the Chinese retail market for 2007.
According to the National Survey on Chinese Residents' Nutrition and Health, rates for hypertension and diabetes - conditions commonly understood to have a higher occurence among overweight people - have been on the rise as well.