Convenience and simplicity: Sales boost for Singapore supplement subscription service amid Covid-19

By Guan Yu Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Popstore operates a supplement subscription model in Singapore ©Popstore
Popstore operates a supplement subscription model in Singapore ©Popstore

Related tags: Singapore, Subscription business model, Supplements, COVID-19

A Singapore-based online customised supplement firm says the COVID-19 pandemic has helped consumers overcome scepticism to subscription services in the nutra space, after recording 60% year-on-year boost in sales over the last 30 days.

The firm was established last year, and operates as a monthly subscription model, where consumers can pick two to eight different types of supplements, which are packed into daily sachets and delivered to their homes.

There are a total of 18 dietary supplements available, ranging from vitamins, minerals, fish oil, probiotics, coenzyme q10, garlic, to ashwagandha. 

Co-founder Samantha Yew told NutraIngredients-Asia​ that the heightened interest in its service in the middle of the pandemic may be attributed to its convenience and simplicity.

A possible reason would be that people are willing to adjust their purchase behaviours because of the restrictions placed due to the pandemic. People are finding purchasing supplements from POP to be hassle-free and time freed up can be spent on more meaningful activities like preparing healthy meals, exercising or meditating​.”

Uncomplicated service

Yew said the motivation for launching such a service in Singapore was to turn ‘conventional and complicated’ supplement purchases to something less complicated.

Instead of browsing through endless aisles of supplement bottles in stores, I wanted the ease of having my supplements delivered to me. I did not want to have to wait till my bottles were finished. I wanted to be able to change up my supplements as and when there were changes to my lifestyle or diet.

In addition, instead of having many bottles, I also wanted my supplements to come in daily packs which I could easily consume from, place in my bag if I'm rushing out or take with me when I travel overseas without having to fill out pill boxes.”

She said an additional reason for launching the service was to make it more simple for everyday consumers, instead of using difficult-to-understand terminologies.

Instead of having to read meaningless, feel-good descriptives on the bottles, such as potent, super, advanced or premium, I envisioned a simple, clean and convenient way to consume supplements​."

This led the firm to provide a physical card containing all the nutritional content in their supplement selections.

This has now been changed to a plantable seed card informing consumers that all the nutritional information will be sent electronically.

A seed card is a biodegradable eco-paper that is embedded with seeds and can be planted in soil.

Yew said she did encounter some initial consumer concerns about the subscription services, so she made the programme easy to defer, amend, or cancel.

The supplements cost between SGD5 (for Vitamin A) to SGD50 (for COQ10) for 30 tablets, one month’s dosage.

Popular products

Yew revealed to us that during this Covid-19 pandemic, there had been more queries on immunity-related supplements. In particular, its vitamin C and zinc supplements were proving to be popular for their antioxidant and immunity functions.

However, she stressed that they were not meant to treat or prevent the coronavirus, “we will remind them (consumers) that having a balanced diet, enough rest, water, exercise and strong personal hygiene is more effective in boosting one’s immunity​.”

The firm sources its ingredients worldwide. For instance, its fish oil ingredient are sourced sustainably from wild Alaskan salmon, and its turmeric ingredient sourced ethically from the Himalayas.

The supplements are then manufactured in the US, in an FDA-approved facility. Yew said the firm might consider moving its manufacturing to nearby Australia, which could help bring bring costs down.

For now, the firm is focusing on improving its current product offerings before it expands the range. Yew said she forecast sales to double year-on-year.

The company also ships to Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.

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