Sirio Pharma gains production licence of sports nutrition food in China

The approval enables the company to add special ingredients into products and covers six functional classes

Sirio Pharma has announced that it has been granted SC production licence (for Sheng Chan in Chinese) of sports nutrition food in China. Headquartered in Guangdong, China, Sirio is a global nutraceutical contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO).

The approval enables Sirio to add special sports nutrition ingredients into products. The licence covers six functional classes for ‘protein supplementary’, ‘speed & power’, ‘endurance’, ‘energy control’, ‘energy supplementary’, and ‘post-exercise recovery’.

Due to the stringency of regulations and complexity of achieving approval, Sirio is now one of just seven approved licence holders in the country.

Rui Yang, Sirio Pharma CEO, commented: “The consumer demand for sports products in China has exploded in the last few years, in part thanks to the national fitness policy, yet the production and regulatory environment is still maturing.

"As a result, only a very small number of companies have licences and, through Sirio, we foresee tremendous opportunities for brand companies to access one of the fastest growing segments of the nutrition industry globally. In fact, we have already had a number of enquiries and we are able to start production immediately. What is more, for established brands who want to build their name in China, by partnering with Sirio, they are now even able to develop completely unique products tailored to the Chinese sports consumer.”

Regulatory framework

Until recently, the barriers to entry for international brands in China were high, and the majority entered the market using cross-border e-commerce.

The new sports production licence has been introduced to better regulate manufacturers and combat counterfeit products in China, and involves a rigorous onsite audit covering environmental control, equipment, warehousing and documentation.

Yang added: “In the last few years, sports nutrition in China has grown extremely quickly (at a CAGR of 37% between 2013-2017) and is forecast to continue to expand at up to 50% per year, easily outstripping growth in the US and other global markets. So it is a huge opportunity not only for domestic companies, but also international brands."

According to the company, the licence allows nutra brands to make specific functional claims on sports nutrition product labelling and will cover popular ingredients including concentrated whey protein, whey protein isolate, soy protein isolate: BCAA, CaHMB, creatine, and many vitamin & minerals.

Sirio said its new sports licence, coupled with its strong formulation capabilities and capacity, now provide the possibility of contract manufacturing these products in China and selling through all distribution channels across the country, potentially opening up a far larger customer base.

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