COVID-19 not stopping Indonesian giant Sido Muncul's expansion plans and production rates

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Sido Muncul has launched a soft capsule version of its flagship Tolak Angin herbal supplement.
Sido Muncul has launched a soft capsule version of its flagship Tolak Angin herbal supplement.

Related tags Indonesia COVID-19 herbs

Indonesia’s traditional herbal and pharma giant Sido Muncul's market expansion plans will continue despite the COVID-19 pandemic, with the firm revealing that its factory production is running at full force.

The company introduced seven new herbal and vitamin products to the market on Feb 20, and added that the sales of its flagship herbal product - Tolak Angin - had jumped amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Coming in the form of soft capsules, the new products are Tolak Angin; Tolak Linu; Sari kunyit; vitamin E (100 I.U); vitamin E (300 I.U); vitamin D3 (400 I.U); and virgin coconut oil. Some of them, for example Tolak Angin and Tolak Linu, are already present in the market in other dosage forms, such as powder and sachets. 

The herbal product, Tolak Angin, which mainly consisting of rice, fennel, Indian screw tree fruit, and clove, is designed to help with anti-bloating, flu, and dry throat.

Tolak Linu, mainly made up of ginger and Balinese long pepper, is to help relieve rheumatism and joint pain, while Sari kunyit – a turmeric extract, aims to ease stomach upsets.

NutraIngredients-Asia ​understands that the new products are available in the domestic market and will also be exported to neighbouring South East Asian countries Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Cambodia, Singapore, and further afield to the US, Korea, Australia, Mauritius, Nigeria and Hong Kong.

They will also be brought into new markets in the Middle East, such as Yemen and Afghanistan.

President director Irwan Hidayat said the company’s target for the year was market expansion and increasing its product sales, despite the global spread and market disruption coming from COVID-19.

He added that herbal medicines were gaining traction amongst consumers.

“Currently, people are looking more to herbal medicines as compared to chemical medicine. and we have almost 70 years of experience in processing materials derived from plants," he said.

Sales growth

Due to the spread of COVID-19, sales for Tolak Angin, one of its best-sellers, have gone up by 20% and its factories in Ungaran, Semarang, and Central Java have been running at full capacity.

“Since we are highly in demand, what we need to do now is to keep the employees healthy and be able to work in order to serve the community’s needs for herbal medicines,” ​he said.

According to reports from local media The Jakarta Post, ​the public has been hoarding herbs and medicinal plants such as ginger, coriander, Javanese ginger, and turmeric since Indonesia announced its first few COVID-19 cases. 

The frenzy took place as an old video of president Joko Widodo revealing his daily regime of drinking herbal tea made of these herbs made its rounds on the internet.

Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, is now in a state of emergency until April 19, where there are stay-at-home instructions and school closures put in place.

As of April 13, Indonesia has​ 4,557 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 399 fatalities.

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