The spa and hospitality sectors will be a major highlight at New Hope Media’s 9th Natural Products Expo Asia, returning to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, August 25-27.

Although it is still a small market for natural and organic certified foods, supplements and cosmetics compared to other regions, the Asian market is currently experiencing promising growth. Having the largest number of hotels and spas under development worldwide, the Asia Pacific spa market has also shown rapid growth in recent years, “often exceeding 20% annually, as the middle class expands and society as a whole recognizes the importance of preventative healthcare,” said Andrew Jacka, chairman of the Asia Pacific Spa & Wellness Coalition (APSWC) and president of Thai Spa Association.

Asian consumers are price-sensitive when buying organic foods and, at least in Hong Kong, the prices are still prohibitive for the majority of people, says Hailey Chan, marketing manager New Hope Natural Media in Asia. “But when it comes to beauty and spa products consumers are more willing to pay higher prices for better quality”.
With an exhibition area of 6,000sqm, Natural Products Expo Asia will host 300 exhibitors from countries around the globe including Australia, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan and the United States. They will introduce their latest food & beverages, dietary supplements, natural and raw ingredients, cosmetics and skin care products, spa facilities and supplies to 9,000 qualified trade visitors. On Saturday August 27, the show will be open to the trade and the public.

Natural Products Expo Asia includes high-profile education and networking events, live cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs and the third edition of Nutracon Asia 2011, a platform to discover the latest updates in Functional Food & Beverage, Dietary Supplement, Cosmetic Regulations and Beauty & Wellness, and Organic Certification. The program also includes the NutriCosmetic Summit 2011 with keynote speaker Horst Rechelbacher, founder of Aveda, who will be presenting an overview of the cosmetics industry, covering its roots in Asian culture and its spread through Europe, U.S. and other parts of the world.

Organic sales in the USA saw 5 percent growth in 2010, with beverages, fruits, vegetables and dairy doing particularly well. The Organic Trade Association (OTA) forecasts that sales will continue to go up in 2011. Similarly, in Asia-Pacific, beauty, food and beverages categories recorded considerable growth and research firm Kline Group forecasts that the sector is expected to reach US$2.5 billion in 2012, up from US$1.5 billion in 2007. The global herbal supplements and remedies market is projected to hit US$93.15 billion by 2015. Europe is projected to be the largest regional market with Asia-Pacific projecting the highest growth rate with a CAGR of 10.7 %. In China, to ensure the quality and safety of health foods, the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) imposed new quality control regulations for dietary supplement manufacturers. The measures include greater numbers of inspections and tighter guidelines on raw materials record keeping.

National pavilions at Natural Products Expo Asia this year include personal care products from Australia and New Zealand, spa utilities and products from Thailand, supplements from the U.K., Ayurveda products from India, healthy foods, super foods, snacks, and beverages from the U.S., tea and Traditional Chinese Medicine from China, golden oyster mushroom (Tamogitake) from Japan, and farm-fresh produce from local farmers. Natural and organic cosmetics are becoming very popular in Japan, Taiwan Singapore and South Korea and Hong Kong is the gateway to China and these and other countries in the region. Industry growth projections are solid, despite the economic turbulence and uncertainty. For more information about the fair visit www.naturalproductsasia.com

There are over 3,500 spas currently operating in the Asia Pacific region which collectively generate approx. US$2 billion in revenue per annum. According to the Regional Spa Industry Report compiled by market research firm Intelligent Spas for The Asia Pacific Spa and Wellness Coalition (APSWC), the Asia Pacific spa industry employs over 50,000 people. Over 60% of the 42 Asian countries are considered emerging or potential spa markets suggesting there are plenty of development and business opportunities across the region. The full report is available from Intelligent Spas website at www.IntelligentSpas.com