The 80 year-old Australian brand of vitamins, including the biggest selling liquid multivitamin product for children in the domestic market, has enjoyed long-standing success in Australia.
It soft launched a number of its products in China via iTmall Global and VIP from July 2020 onwards, but Life-Space CEO Nathan Cheong told us it was now ramping up its marketing push to coincide with its 80th anniversary.
He said he saw huge scope to build on the success that Life-Space and ByHEALTH enjoyed in the infant nutrition market, and carry it through into products for older children.
“The infant formula market in China has matured a lot in recent years and we have a very strong position thanks to Life-Space’s probiotics, but with Pentavite we see an opportunity for parents and children who want something else as they get a little older,” he said.
“We hope the Pentavite range will help keep these children on the supplementation journey through to adolescence and beyond.”
The full range of Pentavite products is now available in China, with its official Chinese trademark “Zi Ran Wei Ta”. This include lactoferrin, two types of lactase modified milk powder, and five nutrition jelly products including DHA algal oil jelly, milk calcium jelly and iron-enriched jelly.
Cheong said the brand had benefited from considerable support from BY-HEALTH’s e-commerce team on the ground in China, and would expand to all major Chinese e-commerce sites during 2021.
BYHEALTH acquired Life-Space for AU$690m (US$420m) in 2018.
“Being able to tap into that resource has been invaluable,” he added.
“BYHEALTH sees Pentavite as brand that it can truly globalise, so while we are focusing on China for now on, there are international ambitions too.”
In line with this, Cheong said there was a “robust NPD schedule” in place for the brand this year, with a gummy product among the top priorities.
“It’s vital we have this,” he added, “and we’ll aim to differentiate by being 100% natural, with no artificial sweeteners or sugar.”
He added the firm also saw scope for growth through the paediatric and hospital channels throughout 2021.
Cheong, a former BioCeuticals and Designs for Health exec, took the helm at Life-Space last March, just as the pandemic was taking hold in Australia and lockdowns were being imposed.
“In a way it has felt like a stop-start year, but we have still seen 20% growth,” he added.
“And we have a number of big plans for this year, some of which I need to keep under my hat, but we are optimistic for 2021.”