In the first 30 minutes of the first day of the Double 11 event, the sales of Kids Smart on Nature’s Way Tmall flagship store was twice as much as the same period last year.
“Just three days into the event, on Nov 3, the sales of Kids Smart has surpassed that of the brand's entire Double 11 sales last year ,” Airing Wang, head of marketing told NutraIngredients-Asia.
Elsewhere on JD.com, Kids Smart reported a 395% yoy jump in sales on Nov 11.
Fish oil chewable burstlets, calcium plus vitamin D gummies, and zinc plus vitamin C gummies were the three bestselling SKUs.
“The sales pattern also represents parents’ primarily concerns for their kids, which is to nurture smart, taller kids with strong immune system,” she said.
In fact, the brand was also highlighted by Chinese livestreaming megastar Viya on the day of the Double 11 sales event, which further increased sales, as other channels have contacted the firm to stock up the products after they knew about the livestreaming.
This is the fifth year that the company has participated in China’s double 11 sales.
Wang noticed that toddler nutrition products for kids between three and five years old were selling at a faster rate than infant nutrition products.
“We saw some significant changes during the Double 11 sales in China this year. Last time, it was the infant nutrition products that’s driving sales, we know about brands like Childlife’s Ddrops, powder, these are all for young babies.
“The trend this year, is that its more toddler-driven,” she said.
She believes that this could be because of demographic changes in China.
“There has been a strong baby boom three to four years ago, which led to a strong demand for infant nutrition at that time, now, the kids have grown up, which I believe is the reasons why the sales of toddler nutrition is higher.
“Also, unlike babies, kids above three years old can express their preference, tell the parents to buy a particular product that they like,” she said.
According to German market statistics firm Statista, in the last 10 years, China’s birth rate had peaked at 2016, with a total of 17.86 million births, before it dipped to 17.23 million and 15.23 in 2017 and 2018.
Last year, the birth rate hit a record low at 14.65 million.
Kids Smart is a brand under Australian firm Pharmacare, which also owns well-known brands such as Bioglan and Sambucol.
For the time being, Wang said the company would focus on children’s nutrition in the China market, as well as gummy supplements for adults.
Building brand growth
Moving into 2021, the brand will build up its presence in the 3rd and 4th tier cities, as well as driving the sales of its top five bestselling products throughout China.
During the double 11 sales event, the sales of Kids Smart grew by 300%, albeit from a small base from last year, in the 3rd and 4th tier cities.
“The brand awareness is deeper, and we will try to further penetrate the 3rd and 4th tier cities next year. The key is to sell affordable products with the right price point, ideally below RMB$100 (US$15) per bottle,” Wang said.
For instance, a bottle containing 60 pieces of Kids Smart Vita Gummies for cold, flu, and immunity is sold at RMB$59 (US$8.90) on the Australian Nutritionist store on JD.com.
The tier one and two cities remain the major markets for the brand in China and sales from these places have grown by 150% yoy in this year’s double 11.
“We will launch the same products in these cities but will focus on different ‘hero’ product SKUs in different places,” Wang said.
For instance, there are plans to sell larger pack size products in tier one and two cities, since consumer loyalty is already built up.
Aside from Tmall and JD, the brand is also sold on WeChat, The Little Red Book, Kaola, and newer e-commerce site such as Omall.
While the brand works with several retail channels, Wang believes that ultimately, driving brand growth is the most crucial move.
“Personally, I will focus more on the brand growth, if we have achieved success on one platform, the other channels will also follow up…So it is more important on how we drive the product success instead of the channel success.
“E-commerce is all about the search, all about the ‘hero’ products, and so I will focus on the top five SKUs.”
Family needs and weight management
While Kids Smart was the most popular brand, Pharmacare’s other brands Sambucol and FatBlaster were the second and third bestselling brand during double 11.
Sambucol, the black elderberry for cold, flu, immune health brand, saw sales doubled this year.
“People are more aware of the importance of immune health, people are starting to get out more often and want to enhance their immunity,” Wang said.
On the other hand, meal replacement brand FatBlaster had launched new flavours that Chinese consumers are familiar with, such as milk tea and peach oolong tea.