Under the agreement, selected Jamieson-branded products will be distributed in India, with the potential for more products to be added in future.
The second-largest pharmacy chain in India, MedPlus has 1,500 locations throughout the country, with plans to open another 3,500 retail outlets by 2023.
Jamieson is the first and only international supplement brand in MedPlus' portfolio so far. The first shipment was released in September and has just been made available in retail stores.
Capturing a fragmented market
Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, Jamieson's corporate communications director Ruth Winker said: "We did a lot of research on India to determine the best way to bring the brand in. While the Indian market is large and growing — about the same size as the Canadian market — its retail landscape is very fragmented.
"Partnering with a large pharmacy chain like MedPlus will allow us to introduce products through their established locations and online store, simplifying the process. Our VP of international sales met with MedPlus for the first time in February 2017, and ongoing discussions led to the recent signing of our partnership agreement."
Currently, Jamieson has made about a dozen of its products available on the Indian market, mainly consisting of staple items such as multivitamins and single-letter vitamins.
Winker said, "As our partnership progresses, we will be assessing the opportunity to introduce more products, depending on what the market and regulations will allow."
The company expects to attract similar types of consumers in India as it does in Canada — namely, those with rising disposable incomes, parents buying vitamins and dietary supplements for their children, and older consumers looking to maintain and improve their health as they age.
"There is also a large Indian-Canadian population in Canada that we expect will influence the purchasing decisions of their family members living in India, where the market is very underdeveloped in all segments," said Winker.
The partnership with MedPlus is part of Jamieson's wider expansion strategy for Asia, where the latter had planned to increase its presence after filing for a $300m IPO last May.
This has been aided by American private equity investment firm CCMP Capital Advisors, which owns a 44% stake in Jamieson after having agreed in 2014 to acquire the Canadian company for US$226.5m.
Apart from India and Hong Kong — the latter being one of Jamieson's oldest markets in the APAC region — the firm hopes to make an impact on the China market within the next year or so.
Winker said: "The vitamin market in China is huge and fast-growing. We are continuing to register products there under the new regulations for domestic retail and e-commerce, and we expect to have upwards of 20 products registered for those channels by the end of 2019.
"We also recently signed a strategic partnership with JD.com, to help strengthen our presence in the cross-border e-commerce space in China. We are looking to expand to additional markets in South East Asia, and are continually in talks with both existing and potentially new distribution partners to open up these territories."