The supplement was first launched in Korea late last year, on Youguth’s online store, as well as two major e-commerce platforms, Naver and Coupang.
As part of its marketing strategy, Youguth promotes this supplement as a gift for special occasions, such as Thanksgiving Day and Korean New Year.
According to Steve Kang, regional manager of the global healthcare marketing team at parent firm Chong Kun Dang (CKD) Bio Corp, sales of the supplement increased two to three times during holiday periods in October and February.
In South Korea, the supplement is available on Youguth’s online store, as well as two major e-commerce platforms, Naver and Coupang. The company is eyeing the upcoming Parents’ Day and Teachers’ Day in May to promote the supplement.
In Singapore, the supplement was launched earlier this year on its online store as well as e-commerce platform (Lazada) in an initial exclusive partnership. There are now plans to retail at pharmacy chains (Watsons, Unity) soon.
In line with Korea’s marketing strategy, Youguth will also tap on special holidays such as the upcoming Mother’s Day to promote the supplement through an influencer campaign.
The fermented red ginseng with probiotic supplement is the fifth and latest addition to Youguth’s line of probiotic supplements, targeting children, women, professionals, and seniors.
According to Kang, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an upsurge of interest in products that boost the immune system.
In South Korea, the top three most popular supplement types purchased in 2020 were probiotics, red ginseng and multivitamins.
Hence the company decided to develop a product containing red ginseng and probiotics to meet consumer demands for immune health.
“We decided to launch an immunity product to provide customers with some comforts in times of uncertainty,” Kang told NutraIngredients-Asia.
The melt-in-the-mouth powder contains fermented red ginseng and seven probiotic strains for gut health, immune health and energy boost.
Red ginseng is a root used to enhance immunity, fight fatigue, support blood circulation, improve memory with good antioxidant properties.
However, most red ginseng supplements in the market are not fermented, which means lower absorption of the active ingredients (ginsenosides).
Studies have shown that 37% of people who take red ginseng (non-fermented) have difficulties in absorbing the ginsenoside because they lack the necessary microbiome in the stomach.
Youguth puts its red ginseng through a fermentation process with increases absorption of three ginsenosides, Rg1, Rb1 and Rg3.
These three ginsenoside have been verified by the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety for its functionality.
“Our fermented red ginseng with probiotics can help to digest active ingredients 160% better by breaking down into micro size ginsenoside through microorganism fermentation which can be easily absorbed by the body,” Kang explained.
This process also significantly reduces the bitter taste.
Youguth ensures that it uses Korean ginseng roots that are at least six years old, to ensure optimal efficiency.
According to Kang, a 6-year-old red ginseng root contains 1.4 times more ginsenosides than a 4-year-old root.
The supplement contains seven probiotic strains (CFU: 1 billion) related to gut and immune health, including its patented probiotic strain for immune health, Lactobacillus rhamnosus.
The other strains involved in gut health are Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. paracasei, L. plantarum, Bifidobacterium lactis, B. bifidum and Streptococcus thermophilus.
Youguth uses a patented technology called proline feeding which ensures that the probiotics have a heightened ability to endure physiochemical-stress. This meant that unlike traditional probiotics with a thick outer coating, Youguth’s probiotics are able to take effect more quickly upon entering the gut.
The recommended intake is two powdered sachets a day, and consumption is suitable for all ages.
According to Kang, taste was the most challenging during the R&D of this supplement.
Typically, ginseng-based products have a strong bitter taste which is undesirable for many consumers, especially among children.
According to Kang, some manufacturers add artificial flavours to mask the bitterness, Youguth instead relies on its patented fermentation process to reduce the bitter taste as well as increase ginsenoside concentration.
Sugar consumption is another concern among consumers, hence CKD Bio uses palatinose sugar, which results in a gradual increase of blood glucose levels.
The entire R&D of this supplement took about two years.
Youguth is on track to launch three new supplements this year, formulated to support various functions.
The first is a supplement for pregnant women, formulated with probiotics and prebiotics for gut health.
Its distributor in Singapore, Alpha Pioneer is working with hospitals to distribute the supplement.
Youguth is also planning to launch a probiotic supplement to reduce helicobacter pylori-associated gastric inflammation.
The third is probiotic supplement targeted for oral health, to balance the natural microbiome in the mouth.