Sales triple: Indonesia's start-up YOU says consumer understanding of vitamins’ benefits surging

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

YOUVIT multivitamin gummies for kids. ©YOU
YOUVIT multivitamin gummies for kids. ©YOU

Related tags Indonesia Vitamins COVID-19

Indonesia’s gummy supplement start-up, YOU, said sales of its adults’ and kids’ multivitamins have nearly tripled amid the COVID-19 outbreak, as more recognise vitamins as a means of preventive healthcare.

The five-year-old firm sells its supplements branded YOUVIT across 17,000 stores, including Guardian, Watsons, supermarkets, and convenience stores across six major Indonesian cities.

Backed by venture capital DSG Consumer Partners, the firm specialises in gummy supplements, and it has developed multivitamins, omega 3, and nutricosmetics with a US research lab.

Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, ​CEO Wouter Van Der Kolk, said that the current pandemic had led to a “huge push” ​on educating why vitamins were needed for preventive healthcare. This has in turn helped increase sales of vitamins.

“In Indonesia, people often take vitamins when they are sick. The vitamin levels of the products sold here also exceed the recommended dietary allowances by 10 to 20 times. Vitamins are viewed as a kind of medicine.

“COVID-19 has led to more recognising the preventive purpose of vitamins, which is in line with our brand image,”​ Van Der Kolk said.

He gave an example of how e-commerce companies such as Gojek had been buying its vitamins for their drivers and back-end employees to improve their immunity.

Between February and March, he said the sales of its multivitamin gummies for adults and kids had jumped nearly three-fold.

Consumption patterns have also changed, with more consumers buying from online and minimarts because shopping centres are closed. The firm is also marketing to its consumers via WhatsApp and telesales.

It is also donating its multivitamins to 36 hospitals in Jakarta.

“For every six sachets of vitamins sold, we will donate one sachet,”​ he said.

The firm has also been supplying vitamins to about 2,000 orphans via NGOs since it was founded.

NPD

A series of supplements targeted at specific health functions is already in the  new product pipeline.

Van Der Kolk revealed that the new products range would cover sleep, stress, energy, and beauty.

“The purpose of the new launches is to make it easier for consumers to understand the types of products that they need,”​ he said.

The present SKUs are nonetheless expected to be the “backbone” ​of the company’s sales and the firm will focus on making them more widely available.

“Our target audience is millennials between 25 and 38 years old, they are mostly young urban parents who are more tech savvy and more open to trying new brands,”​ he said.

While expansion within Indonesia will be the priority, the firm is also aiming to be present in other South East Asian countries in the long run.

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