Citing huge market potential for U.S. companies, Penton Media, parent company of New Hope Natural Media and publisher of Natural Foods Merchandiser, recently announced the launch of an Asian version of its Natural Products Expos in Anaheim, Calif., Washington, D.C., and Amsterdam. The show will take place from May 15 to 18, 2002, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wanchai, Hong Kong.
Organizers of the show say it will provide an opportunity for companies interested in the region to cultivate strategic partnerships for selling as well as for untangling Asia's regulatory maze. Statistics suggest it may be worthwhile. The region, overall, contains more than one-third of the world's population, and many of Asia's countries also support cultures deeply rooted in the use of natural products and botanicals as medicines. Japan's National Health Insurance, for example, covers Traditional Chinese Medicine, and 70 percent of its physicians can prescribe natural medicines. Malaysia's phytomedicinal market is touted at $263 million, and 46 percent of India's 1 billion people regularly use homeopathic products. In addition, Asia is the source for many natural raw materials.
Furthermore, according to Michael Cheng, chairman of the Natural Products Expo Asia Advisory Board, "Asian consumers are looking for Western herbs such as St. John's wort, kava kava and maca. There is also a huge market for cleansing products, vitamins with herbs and organics."
"As Asia grows and countries like China open up to global trade, it is critical for any company in the business to start laying down plans on how to benefit from this diverse and important region of the world," said Rick Prill, president, New Hope Natural Media. "We see huge potential for all aspects of the industry in Asia."
The Expo will include five concurrent events: Traditional Chinese Medicine Asia, Herbal Asia, Nutraceuticals Asia, Functional Foods Asia and Organics Asia. An education conference will include topics such as traditional Chinese medicine, the market potential of China, sourcing, selling and distribution channels in Asia, the Asian naturals consumer, and trade and legal issues in Asia.
Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXII/number 8/p. 7