The flagship brand of ASX-listed and Israel-based company Nutritional Growth Solutions (NGS), Healthy Height is a clinically studied protein product that helps children between three and nine grow in height.
It is currently sold in China, in the US, Israel, and in India – where GSK is selling it under license as Horlicks Growth.
From next year, it will be made available in South East Asian markets via TikTok e-commerce, Lazada, and Shopee.
Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, Liron Fendell, CEO and MD of NGS, said that the company would be focusing on Vietnam and Malaysia in the South East Asia region.
“In Southeast Asia, I think the two countries that we are going to really focus on would be Vietnam and Malaysia, being just the two that are showing the biggest growth, specifically in nutrition and infant nutrition and in our sector,” Fendell said.
In addition, the company is pursuing livestreaming and e-commerce via TikTok to better communicate the science behind of the product to consumers.
“TikTok is definitely something that we are working on, [including] working with more influencers that are coming from various sectors, so from kids to moms to doctors, and key opinion leaders.
“I think the fact that it's videos, it gives us a better way to interact with our customers and present the brand and the science. Because it is not just like a snack that you can promote because its tasty.
“We are looking for an opportunity to have just the broader stage and discuss the clinical study and the science behind it.”
Its products will be distributed by Australia Sunshine International Group and will be manufactured in New Zealand – which will be the production base for products sold in Asia.
As the New Zealand facility has been certified by the Chinese authorities, products made from this facility will also be suitable for general trade in China.
At the moment, the company is selling US-manufactured Healthy Height into China via cross-border e-commerce (CBEC).
“Once we have the NZ-made product, we will be able to expand into general trade and offline shelves in China, on top of CBEC.”
The company has been expanding its e-commerce presence in China rapidly and has identified three key demands amongst Chinese parents.
“The features and benefits of nutrition products are getting more segmented with products offering benefits such as height growth, immunity promotion, and brain development. These are the most popular products on China’s CBEC market.
“Our brand is just starting, but we are seeing very nice growth, and now that we are also starting to work with distributors on these platforms, we are going to see even more growth,” Fendall said.
Through the partnership with Australia Sunshine, Healthy Height will also be stocked on JD.com.
Earlier this year, the products are already made available in China via the brand’s Tmall flagship Global Store and also promoted via messaging app WeChat and microblog Weibo.
The company has added three top executives from big brand names to its team in July, which Fendell said was a crucial factor that had enabled market expansion.
“I think one of the best things that we have got going for us is our team. And we recently hired just two senior managers, one for China and one for the US market.”
The company’s newly hired commercial director for China – Vicky Hou – was previously from GSK and Bayer.
On the other hand, Steven Turner, who used to work for PharmaCare Laboratories, is now NGS’s president who oversees the North American market. Under his charge, the company will drive offline retail in the US from next year.
“Also working with them as a strategic advisor for global expansion is Linda Luo, who is coming from Bellamy's, The a2 company and Blackmores.
“So again, just having this wealth of experience and knowledge of this market and working with really great talented people, it just makes it easier,” she said.
In terms of new product development, Fendall revealed that the company has been planning to broaden its offerings, including protein shakes for sports performance.
“We are looking to create a whole line of products, including some more general products, so for example, we are now doing clinical studies with a protein shake that aims to help children do better in sports.
“We have a general protein shake and also a vegan protein shake, that is coming from the business that we acquired about a year ago called Kidzshake. We are now launching their general protein shakes for children under the Healthy Height brand.
“While we definitely came from the height benefit and functionality, we are looking to expand into something broader than that,” she said.
The company is also conducting a year-long trial to find out the effects of Healthy Height on improving height and weight in kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Adding new products is one of the three key areas that the firm will focus on in the next 12 to 18 months.
Second, it will expand its sales channels, such as conducting offline retail in the US and China.
Lastly, it will be growing its presence outside of the US and China to include South East Asia.