Probiotic manufacturer Evolution Health smashes China Singles' Day sales record

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Evolution Health MD Ben McHarg at our recent Probiota Asia summit.
Evolution Health MD Ben McHarg at our recent Probiota Asia summit.

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Australian probiotic manufacturer Evolution Health has recorded its highest ever China Singles' Day sales, cementing its position as the bestselling probiotic brand on the Tmall platform.

The company's Life-Space products saw over 78,000 units sold — more than three times the brand's record sales in 2016.

This marks a productive month for the firm, which also moved from seventh to fourth in The Australian FinancialReview​'s Fastest 100 list, achieving the second highest revenue figure of $71.85 million among the top 10.

Evolution Health MD Ben McHarg was a keynote speaker at our recent Probiota Asia summit in Singapore​, where he outlined how the company had achieved market leadership in Australian retail pharmacy and Chinese e-commerce channels.

He said there were two main concerns in the China market: whether the products and their benefits are real, and whether they have been successful in their market of origin.

"We also benefited from early entry to the market, but we'c had a long history of success in Australia, which really helped,"​ he said.

"The first thing a Chinese consumer will do is ask his contacts or family overseas about the quality of a product. Above all else, Chinese consumers want quality and they want a product to work.

"No disrespect to the scientists; you can do all the studies you like, but if they don't reach the consumer, what's the point? We have consumers voting with their feet because our products work."

International expansion

He said today that the compnay had made two new appointments to build on its recent sales success.

Matt Holmes is now its global sales director, following his most recent stint as North American general manager for Swisse Wellness after six years with the company in marketing, sales and general management roles.

Meanwhile, Naomi Smith was appointed head of marketing. Her experience includes over seven years in the UK with international brand and advertising agencies, managing growth, marketing and brand strategies for global companies in electronics, cosmetics and beverages.

"Both new appointments provide combined experience in establishing all necessary operational requirements for identification and entry into new health supplement markets, with the associated strategic marketing and branding expertise,"​ McHarg said.

"Matt and Naomi not only have the technical expertise and professional experience in their chosen careers, they also bring two directly relevant attributes: firstly, Matt's knowledge in the health supplement and probiotic market globally, and secondly, Naomi's creation and strategic growth of global brands starting from a single domestic base.

“The global probiotic supplement market is presently valued at more than US$4bn (and) we already have a strong presence in the rapidly growing Chinese market.

"However Matt and Naomi’s combined expertise will help take us into other substantial markets, including Italy, Vietnam, the US, France and Russia."

This year's Singles' Day sale on 11 November saw consumers fork out over US$38bn.

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