Author: Yan Zhang
Published: 15 SEP 2021
Food and beverage
Bioactives & Nutraceuticals

Supplied with prime raw materials and with access to R&D assistance and world-class talent, Auckland is the natural home for a thriving nutraceutical industry.   

New Zealand has a global reputation for the quality of its natural produce, and this underpins a nutritional healthcare supplement sector that is firmly established and going from strength to strength. In 2021, the nutraceutical excipients market size was forecast to reach US$4.4 billion (NZ$6.2 billion) by the end of 2026, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 2.3 per cent during 2021–2026. Asia Pacific is projected to be the fastest-growing market over the next five years.

Ideal conditions 

With a warm-temperate maritime climate and rich volcanic soils, New Zealand’s ideal growing conditions nurture a diverse flora and fauna, much of it endemic (including around 40 per cent of our plants and 90 per cent of our fungi). Our mountains, forests, farms and seas are fertile sources of nutraceutical and bioactive ingredients – such as green-lipped mussel powder, plant and marine oils, seaweed extracts, UMF honey products, dairy products (e.g., colostrum), deer velvet, native tree fern extracts, and fruit extracts (e.g., boysenberry, kiwifruit). 

Many of these products have a diverse and still-growing range of applications. Totarol, for instance, is a bioactive extract from the tōtara tree that features in products from L’Oreal, Kiehl’s, Jurlique and Red Seal, to name a few.

Auckland – a natural hub

Arepa factory worker

While the rural regions are renowned for agricultural output, some of New Zealand’s most fertile soils are right on Auckland’s doorstep; for example, the horticulture district of Pukekohe in south Auckland accounts for 26 per cent of the value of New Zealand’s entire vegetable production.

Auckland is the heart of the country’s economy and tech industry. Its research institutes and universities collaborate closely with bio-pharma businesses on R&D and commercialisation, and  feed into its highly skilled talent pool. Examples include the Human Nutrition Unit (HNU) at The University of Auckland, nutrition courses at Massey University, the New Zealand Institute of Natural Medicine Research (NZIMR), and the High Value Nutraceuticals Masters Scholarship at AUT –  all contributing to Auckland’s status as a national hub for nutraceuticals. 

Dozens of related businesses are headquartered in the city, including:

  • Alpha Group researches, develops and produces functional health products from natural bio-resources, and funds the NZIMR.
  • Anagenix makes a range of products including BerriQi®, a boysenberry extract for lung health. The company has recently expanded its presence in China.
  • GMP (in New Zealand and Australia) makes pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, restricted animal products, childhood nutritional formulas and organic foods.
  • Manuka Bioscience researches and develops cosmeceuticals and cosmetics that utilise the antibacterial properties of mānuka (tea tree).
  • Vitaco, founded 1904, is the name behind brands including Aussie Bodies, Healtheries, Mushashi and Nutra-Life.

A supportive business environment

For overseas investors, the Auckland-based nutraceutical field presents a variety of options – whether it’s setting up a local operation in New Zealand or partnering to reach overseas market. New Zealand has a global reputation for its ease of doing business, along with its stringent biosecurity regulations, commitment to sustainability and animal health, supportive regulatory framework and robust export markets.

There is strong government and institutional support for innovation in natural products and the wider food and beverage sector. This can include (depending on terms and conditions): 

Find out more

To find out more about investment opportunities in Auckland’s nutraceutical sector, contact Investment Specialist Yan Zhang.

DISCLAIMER: This article provides general information on potential investment opportunities in Auckland and is not intended to be used as a substitute for financial advice. The views and opinions expressed are those of the relevant author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Auckland Unlimited. Auckland Unlimited disclaims all liability in connection with any action that may be taken in reliance of this article, and for any error, deficiency, flaw or omission contained in it.