Kiwi superfood and supplement firm eyes APAC expansion after e-commerce success

By Cheryl Tay contact

- Last updated on GMT

Matakana Superfoods recently began selling some of its most popular products on Amazon.com.
Matakana Superfoods recently began selling some of its most popular products on Amazon.com.
Manufacturer Matakana Superfoods is looking to establish a retail presence outside of Australia, Chile and its native New Zealand, after enjoying considerable success in the organic food segment through online sales.

Following the high demand for its Açaí Bowl premix on Amazon.com, the firm decided to add four more products to its offering on the e-commerce giant's website: Superchoc, a low-GI organic cacao; Supergreens, a powder high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals; Supershake, a blend of 12 superfoods (including quinoa, chia seeds and coconut); and Recovery Formula, a post-workout drink rich in phytonutrients for rapid muscle recovery.

All five items are customisable mixes made from organic 'superfoods' that can be added to food and drink to give them a healthy boost. According to the company, they do not contain any preservatives, additives, GMOs, cane sugar, or artificial flavours or colours.

Business development manager Joseph Glucina told NutraIngredients-Asia​: "These five items are among our top sellers, and we felt they would do well in the US. We had to consider not just what was selling well back home, but also what would be a good fit for the American market."

Organic growth

He revealed that the decision to start selling on Amazon.com was made about half a year ago.

"We had just bought a new facility — we had new offices, and larger storage and manufacturing capacity. We thought it was a good time to make our products available in more markets, including the US.

"We also want to start growing our own produce within the next six months."

Matakana sources its ingredients from New Zealand, Peru, Chile, Brazil and Argentina, and formulates its products in-house while outsourcing their blending, packaging and labelling.

Besides Amazon.com, its products are sold in supermarkets, pharmacies, and specialty health food stores in New Zealand, Australia and Chile. They are also available internationally through its official website.

In addition, the firm will be opening a flagship store in the next six to 12 months in Matakana, North Auckland, "for branding purposes"​.

Matakana is, however, keen on exporting to more countries in the APAC region, especially Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Glucina said, "It's a matter of finding the right local partners. We have looked around but haven't really discussed business possibilities with distributors in Asia yet."

Supplementary income?

While the Kiwi firm is best known for organic products, most of which are oils and powders for adding into food and drink, it also carries several supplements in capsule form, meant for boosting immunity, cognitive function, and hormonal health.

The supplements are made from ingredients such as mangosteen, mushrooms, and fucoidan, a natural brown seaweed component.

"Our fucoidan capsules were launched two years ago, but it’s still early days in terms of marketing as it’s new to a lot of people.

"Fucoidan products are already well known in South East Asia, but most are sourced from Japan, and there has been some concern about contamination after the Fukushima disaster; we source ours from the South Pacific Ocean, where the waters are uncontaminated."

The fucoidan capsules come in two formulations: Fucoidan Immune, which are extracted to 50% purity, and Fucoidan Ultra Immune Plus, which are extracted to the highest possible purity of 85% to 95%. Both formulations are available in bottles of 60 capsules each

Glucina said, "They are sold in pharmacies, but most of the orders come from online, especially from Singapore and Taiwan. We'd like to grow that segment more, and potentially develop different formulations.

"The company definitely wants to branch out further into the supplement sector over the next 12 months. We have some other supplements in the pipeline but I can't reveal too much at the moment."

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