Sports nutrition surge in China and India a key focus for Tom Oliver Nutrition
Known primarily for its omega-3 herring caviar supplement, the company also sells protein powder, and recently developed a range of vegan protein bars.
Founder Tom Oliver told NutraIngredients-Asia: "We aim to make protein more accessible to not just the fitness enthusiast, but also the accountant, the train driver…and especially the female market."
He explained that as more people had begun to understand the importance of sufficient protein intake, catering to a wider market became necessary.
In Tom Oliver Nutrition's case, this meant eschewing the "intimidating" packaging typical of some sports nutrition products, which often feature images of muscular men and emphasise how 'intense' the products are.
Oliver also noted "an increasing appetite" for vegan snacks in India, where consumers tend to prefer "simple, natural formulations", which prompted the company to develop its vegan protein bars.
Taking it to the Far East
Following the announcement of its partnership with India's largest healthcare provider Apollo Group last year, the company's plans for China are well underway.
Its vegan protein bars, which are currently available in Singapore and India, will be available later this year in China and Japan.
Oliver said, "We see China especially as having exceptional potential, and it will be a key focus for 2018 and 2019."
Deals are believed to be in the pipeline with retailers such as Holland & Barrett and e-retailers such as e-commerce platform TMALL.
It is an opportune time for companies to tap into China's sports nutrition market. A Mintel survey last October stated that 76% of urban Chinese consumers regularly engage in sports and fitness activities.
According to China market and regulatory intelligence firm ChemLinked, protein powder has a 91% share of the country's sports nutrition market, with protein bars accounting for a majority of the remaining share.
Innova Market Insights reported last year that sports nutrition launches in Asia recorded a CAGR of 21.1% between 2012 and 2017, more than double the global growth (10.5% CAGR).
In other segments, the firm recently introduced its Collagen Caviar Complex beauty product in Singapore in November.
Oliver said: "Our retail partner Holland & Barrett Singapore is very happy with the sales, as are we."