Retail round-up: Infant nutrition and probiotics brands expanding practitioner and omni-channels

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Health and nutrition brands are expanding into different retail channels. ©Getty Images
Health and nutrition brands are expanding into different retail channels. ©Getty Images

Related tags: retail channels, Infant nutrition, omnichannel, Probiotics

We look at how infant nutrition brands are taking on an omnichannel retail approach for their operations in China, the problem of infant formula marketing in Vietnam, as well as how probiotic brand BioGaia is seeing potential in practitioner channels.
Omnichannel retail in China: How Australian infant nutrition firms are expanding offline and online reach

Australian infant nutrition firms are increasingly adopting an omnichannel business model​ in their operations in China, with firms expanding from the common cross-border e-commerce (CBEC) platforms to offline ventures, including mother-and-baby shops and even opening their own stores.

An example is The a2 milk Company. Its China label infant formula – a2 Zhi Chu (至初) – was sold in over 22,800 mother-and-baby stores as of June 2021​, pushing sales 15.4 per cent yoy higher to NZD$389.9m (US$270.6m).

In the same period last year, its products were sold in 18,200 stores.

Offline kick: Arborvitae’s joint health product enjoying Australia pharmacy boost thanks to clinical trial findings

Australian dietary supplement firm Arborvitae has received a bumper deal with domestic pharmacy chain TerryWhite Chemmart​ for its joint health liquid supplement, with retailers’ interest in the product rising amid favourable consumer feedback and clinical trial results, the company said.

Two of the firm’s supplements – Arborvitae Joint Health and Arborvitae Health and Wellbeing Supplement (blood glucose and cholesterol) – will be available in all TerryWhite Chemmart stores. The pharmacy chain has over 450 stores across Australia.

Prior to the deal, Arborvitae’s products were available in about 130 TerryWhite Chemmart stores, which are mostly the bigger stores. The new deal allows its products to be sold in the community pharmacies as well.

Infant formula tactics in Vietnam: Industry under fire for allegedly circumventing marketing rules

Breastmilk substitute (BMS) companies in Vietnam have been accused of circumventing the restrictions of infant formula marketing by using products for pregnant and lactating women as an “entry point”​ to influence the purchase of infant formulas, according to academics.

In Vietnam, national legislations that restrict infant formula promotion has been passed down in recent years.

In 2012, the National Assembly passed the Law on Advertisement to prohibit the advertisement of BMS for children under 24 months old, complementary foods for children under six months old, and feeding bottles and pacifiers.

BioGaia, Abbott in partnership to distribute probiotics to medical professionals in Singapore

BioGaia has partnered with Abbott to distribute two of its probiotic products to medical professionals​ in Singapore.

The two products are Gastrus and Protectis,with the latter the company’s most popular product targeted at gastrointestinal problems in infants and children. 

In children, Protectis is used to address infantile colic, functional constipation, functional abdominal pain, and infectious diarrhea.

H&H half-year results: Offline expansion in China and shift from daigou in ANZ yielding growth

Health and Happiness (H&H) Group said offline expansion in China, including introducing its infant formulas to more mother-and-baby stores, as well as the launch of more blue-hat certified health foods in offline trade, has pushed up its revenue​ for the first half of this year.

The parent company of Swisse and Biostime also said that its sales performance in Australia and New Zealand had improved, as it shifted from conducting daigou sales to China to focusing on the needs of the local ANZ markets.

In its financial results for January to June 2021, the Hong Kong Exchange (HKEX) listed company reported five per cent revenue growth to RMB$5.4bn (US$837m).

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