Friday, September 25, 2015


A session in progress: Vitafoods Asia 2015, HK,

It is not the intelligent of the species that survives, it is the adaptable of the species that survives: Charles Darwin

Intelligence, integrity and energy – three factors for success: Warren Buffet

Vitafoods is a series of nutraceutical events held in Asia (Hong Kong), Europe (Geneva, Switzerland) and South America (Sao Paulo, Brazil) on an annual basis for stakeholders.  Informa does an impeccable job of organizing Vitafoods Asia 2015 – it was my second visit to this event, earlier being Vitafoods Asia 2014.  This year, our employer company sent 5 personnel as registered delegates.  So we were able to attend the education seminars too along with the visit to exhibition area (the latter area does not require any paid delegate registration) – this was the essence of our participation at this interesting nutraceutical destination event.

Mr. C J K Simon, Director S & M (to the reader's right) and self at Vitafoods Asia 2015

Below are some pearls from my participation at Vitafoods Asia Sep 2015 (2.9.15 and 3.9.15):

a)      Hong Kong, city of sky scrapers, has a lot of greenery and land available unlike Singapore, which is constrained and contained.
b)      HK is like a big shopping district, with lots of shopping experiences in store.
c)      Going to the Giant Buddha by cable car, is an amazing experience (on last day we could hurriedly do this too!)

View from the cable car
 Ethereal view
Giant Buddha at background

d)     The chill effect is very prominent!  HK is AC crazy, the Hotel Regal Airport and the airport itself was bone- chilling, better take thermals and jackets even though HK has a hot climate!
e)      Although it is a coastal city, there are no coconut trees (as you would expect in India!).
f)       People in HK have limited knowledge of English language – can be vexatious to the traveler.  (Singapore scores over HK on this…).
g)      There is energy among participants in the exhibition area for scaling up, gaining new customers and selling …
h)      Many products have scientific back-up.
i)        SOD B range from Bionov (France) based on the melon is a very interesting antioxidant natural ingredient, delivered as a coated substance, has an unique mode of action.  On oral administration, SOD B, thanks to the gastro protective coating, is released in the intestines.  There it locks with specific receptors and induces the body to produce higher levels of endogenous antioxidant enzymes: superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase.  Amazing mode of action isn’t it?  It does not get absorbed etc… it makes the body produce more natural antioxidant enzymes.
j)        Nutrisens range from France, provides a range of clinical nutrition in pouch form (18 months shelf-life) – the contents are semi-fluid, and is targeted to patients who suffer dysphagia (swallowing difficulty) or have trembling hands … eg., patients with Parkinsonism and elderly subjects.
k)      Daiwa Pharmaceuticals, Japan: the elderly person from this company was again there, with his polite smile and behavior.  Biobran the immunomodulator, NKCP – the natural blood thinner based on Bacillus subtilis strain, rice kefiran (a phytogalactoglucan from LAB), Epoglan (gamma linolenic acid) and GABA (to improve sleep) were their innovations backed by clinical evidence and other scientific studies.
l)        An American leader company with trace elements in liquid form (used for fortification of beverages etc) (Company: Trace Minerals Research) was also there for second time.
m)    Phytologic showcased their anthogenol (Vitis vinifera grape seed extract) as a super antioxidant.
n)      Monteloeder of Spain displayed hydroxytyrosol (olive leaf extract), topical melagenol and other interesting products for metabolic syndrome.
o)      Norst Omega 3, Norway: offered a very tasty amazing liquid formulation of omega-3-fatty acids in cola flavor and vanilla flavor.
p)      Konark Herbals from India (an enthusiastic brother-sister duo manned the stall) were there promoting their standardized extracts, including nano curcumin etc.
q)      Lemon verbena extract from PLX, Spain positioned as an adaptogen and antioxidant were there, she also presented a talk at the Exhibition Presentation Theater.
r)       Novastell, Spain/France had a range of phospholipids: from - egg, marine source, soya etc…
s)       There were many interesting exhibitors including Catalysis, Spain who offered very interesting range of products for urology segment: Diamel to promote kidney health in diabetics, Spermotrend for male infertility, Renalof for kidney stones, Oncoxin for BPH, standardized glycyrrhizinic acid for topical management of STD, and Viusid for herpes.
t)       There was a range of premium products with very unique and hard-to-source ingredients, from Energybalance, Switzerland.
u)      Vidya Herbs, from Bangalore, India, were showcasing once again their competence at their booth (there were there in Vitafoods Asia 2014 too) – this is an amazing company, run by a very down-to-earth person: Mr. Shyam Prasad and ably assisted by his younger brother: Mr. Chandrashekar, you can read about them here (it is an article published in a very popular magazine: Business Today): )

Vidya Herbs has a global sales of Rs. 350 crores/annum!

Great talks

1)      Dr. Bejit Ideas, from Japanese Society of Anti-Aging Nutrition talked about the trends in nutraceutical foods and beverages in Japan, including probiotics, prebiotics, collagen drinks for beauty…
2)      James Tonkin, President of Healthy Brand Builders, had a sparkling presence, with his exhaustive and authoritative powerpoint supported talk on functional beverages.  In fact, his speech content more than met audience needs, he gave best bang for the time spent.
3)      Anirban Mukhopadhyay, Ph D, Prof. in Marketing, HK was at his effervescent best, very affable and well-read, his participation was attractive and informative.  However, he should have been in Stream 1: Your Business rather than Stream 2 – Your Science.
4)      Sam Waterfall of Healthy Marketing Team of Singapore presented his four factors concept for getting food and beverage innovation in a most convincing way.  He has great grip on the subject matter.
5)      Martin Pasquier of Agence Tesla, Singapore was at his energetic best rendering insights into the world of social media …. Did you know Philippines is the selfie capital of the world?!
6)      A talk at the Exhibitor Presentation Theatre on Lemon verbena and hibiscus (Metabolaid) for combating metabolic syndrome by Sandra Lum was very interesting.
7)      Natasha D Costa, from Frost & Sullivan, conducted an interactive workshop and gave enlightening insights on nutraceuticals market behavior, in her speech.
8) Ms. Emil gave good data and insights into functional food market of SE Asia.

At the networking dinner-cocktail on 1.9.15, we met very interesting people, including a mother-daughter pair from Singapore, they were well-to-do entrepreneurs, and had lots of interest in Mr. Narendra Modi, PM, India and in India.

All in all, a very engrossing visit to Vitafoods Asia HK 2015.

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