Chinese herbs focus: Direct selling firm Infinitus sets out stall for South East Asia expansion

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Lingzhi is one of the herbs used in Infinitus' product. ©Getty Images
Lingzhi is one of the herbs used in Infinitus' product. ©Getty Images

Related tags: Direct selling, China, lingzhi

Chinese direct-selling firm Infinitus has entered the Philippines market as a part of its expansion strategy.

The firm, which is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Corporation, Lee Kum Kee Health Products Group (LKKHPG), has a major presence in China.

Elsewhere, it is already operating in Canada and South East Asian markets, including Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia.  

The firm began trading in the Philippines in June this year. 

Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia​, marketing manager at the Branding and Public Relations, Agnes Wong, said that herbal supplements and skincare products would be the main product focus in the country.

The other portfolios will include personal care and household products such as detergent and pillows.

“We hope to focus on the health foods, supplements and skincare products, because these two core products can really help people for overall general wellness,”​ Wong said.

Some of the Chinese herbs used in the firm’s herbal supplements include red lingzhi extract, used in its herbal powdered drink for energy.

Other herbs used included poria and goji berry extract powdered drink, also for vitality and energy. 

These products are developed and manufactured from its in-house R&D team and manufacturing plants in China’s Xinhui - a district in Guangdong, and Yingkou – a prefecture level city of Liaoning province.

“The firm invests in over US$100m each year into R&D and we grow our own herbs, we also work with well-known universities and we got over 995 global patents across the different portfolios.

As part of its short-term plan, the firm is looking to open an office in Manila to provide aftercare service.

It is also planning to expand into more countries and NutraIngredients-Asia​ understands that the Central Asia is one of the targets.

On the other hand, the long term goal for the firm is to be a key leader in the beauty and health industry through the promotion of Chinese solutions. As such, it is planning to develop more innovative skincare products.

The firm yielded a revenue of US$4.5bn last year, which saw it climbed to the 4th​ spot from the 5th​ spot in the DSN (direct selling news) global 100 list of top direct-selling companies this year.

According to the list, Amway took the top spot at a revenue of US$8.80bn, followed by Avon Products and Herbalife respectively.

Trends

Wong said that there was a growing acceptance of traditional Chinese herbs in South East Asia, especially in Malaysia.

 “The top three trends are product safety, efficacy, and the cost, so we see that traditional Chinese medicine is gradually accepted as a mainstream medicine, so the use of traditional Chinese herbs is getting increasingly popular in the Malaysian market,” ​Wong said.

Citing the example of Malaysia, she said that Gluco8 – a product that aid glucose control and Gest-Aid Plus – a digestion health product, were the best-sellers.

“We find that Malaysia has a large diabetic population, so one out of five people is suffering from diabetic issue. Maybe this is because of their imbalance lifestyle, diet, working long hours, and a lack of sleep and exercise. This makes people want to find ways to help balance their health.

“And so Gluco8 has gained a tremendous response, because this product contains herbs such as the Mulberry leaves, chrysanthemum, Chinese yam. People can drink one to two bottles after their meals to help reduce sugar absorption,” ​Wong said.

According to the firm, polysaccharides from mulberry leaves can help to enhance glucose intake rate and utilisation by cells, and also to increase the synthesis of glycogen.

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