This has also impacted how the brand is developing its new products.
“As consumers are now more knowledgeable, well-informed, and educated with easily accessible knowledge on nutrition, we see a continuous trend in functional drinks with low in calories and more functionalities to grow rapidly in the years to come.
“This is not just in Thailand but also for the whole South East Asia region, which is also spreading across the globe,” president of Tera food and Beverage, Thanthit Yuenyongtechahiran, told NutraIngredients-Asia.
In March, the brand, which belongs to the firm Tera food and Beverage, has launched two new functional RTD beverages.
One of the products, known as QminC Ginger with Honey, contains 1,000mg of ginger extract imported from the US.
The other product is known as QminC Finger Root with Honey and contains 1,000mg of finger root extract.
Finger root extract was chosen as it is native to the region and is an antioxidant that has anti-allergic, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
In fact, the botanical is now seen as a superfood in Thailand, Yuenyongtechahiran said.
“There is a belief that finger root has the ability to reduce the severity of symptoms and increase immunity to Covid-19. Using this knowledge, a finger root based functional drink will benefit the community by being a popular and successful addition to the existing market. This ingredient is a representative of Thailand and is highly regarded as a superfood,” he said.
Major Thai firm Tipco Foods previously also told us that finger root was a popular ingredient in Thailand during the COVID-19 outbreak, mainly because it was known for its anti-inflammatory and immune health benefits.
Finger root contains pinostrobin, which has shown anti-viral, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
The two products, which come in a 150-ml bottle and retailing at THB$25 (US$0.70) also contain 100mg of beta-glucan, vitamin C, D, E, and zinc.
Aside from functionalities, Yuenyongtechahiran pointed out that there was a trend towards no preservatives and low-calorie beverages – the latter of which was a challenge that the company had to overcome.
“Excessive sugar intake has many ill-effects…On the other hand, many zero sugar or healthy beverages are simply costly at times, have a short shelf life, and low taste enjoyment – factors which can cause it to be challenging to scale up the production in the long run.”
To overcome the problem of sugar, the company said it used only natural honey as it could provide natural sweetness, was low in glycaemic index, and was beneficial to the immune health.
QminC debuted with a curcumin drink in September 2020. The drink contains nano-sized curcumin extract wrapped with liposomes, which is said to aid the body’s absorption of curcumin.
The company plans to introduce QminC into various countries, including the neighbouring CLMV countries – namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam.
Other countries of interest include the US, China, Singapore, South Korea, Kuwait, and UAE.
The company said it was ready to enter these markets via e-commerce.