High hopes: China sales surge for NZ-manufactured kids supplement Healthy Heights
Overall revenue hit US$755,000, excluding Italy, and marked a 20% increase quarter-on-quarter, but plummeted 26% from the prior corresponding period. The annual drop has been attributed to timing of an initial order from Italy in 2021.
The firm added that quarterly revenue from the kids’ supplement in China and the US increased 14% from the prior corresponding period despite stock shortages, which have now been resolved. The US currently accounts for a far larger portion of its sales.
CEO and MD Liron Fendell added that expansion plans in South East Asia have gathered momentum and played a key role in growing the supplement into a global household name for paediatric nutrition.
“With our new manufacturing facility in New Zealand now fully operational and distributing into South East Asia, sales increased 958% in China compared to the previous quarter, demonstrating the growing demand for paediatric products that are safe and healthy to provide optimal nutrition to children during their most formative years.
“Our agreements with Chemist Warehouse China, JD.com, Lazada and Shopee are well-placed to scale, given we have sufficient NZ-manufactured products to ramp up stock levels as the demand increases in the region. We will also focus on capturing the opportunities in Southeast Asia now that we have a fully operational manufacturing facility in New Zealand and distribution partners in the region,” said Fendell.
Scaling new heights
Healthy Heights is made from milk produced by Kiwi dairy giant Fonterra and manufactured by NIG Nutritionals. In an earlier interview with NutraIngredients-Asia.com, Fendell said New Zealand was chosen due to its strong reputation for quality and would be a major sales driver among Chinese parents.
First launched in the US in 2018, the Healthy Heights range was solely manufactured in Utah. The range encompasses five products suited to different age segments, ranging from two to 10 years old. They are best for picky eaters and those with short stature, low appetites and facing caloric deficiency due to high activity. Fendell emphasised that it is not meant to tackle malnourishment but supplement the current diets of children.
Available in plain, chocolate, vanilla or strawberry flavours, these products come in three packaging – resealable packs with varying weights, bottles and single-serve sachets – and are priced between US$19.90 and US$29.56. The range is made with whey protein, non-fat dry milk, high-oleic sunflower oil, organic cane sugar, cocoa powder (for chocolate formulations), inulin and amino acid arginine.
NGS entered the Chinese market with their main product, the Grow Daily Kids 3+, in single-serve sachet form for children aged three to nine.
“There is increasing demand for Healthy Heights in this market, with sales increasing dramatically throughout the quarter as parents look for safe and healthy products to ensure their children are receiving the best nutrition to support their growth development,” she said.
In the same quarter, NGS appointed Peter Osborne as a strategic advisor for China and Southeast Asia. According to the statement, Osborne was previously MD Asia for Blackmores and served as Australian Senior Trade Commissioner in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taiwan. He is also the strategic advisor in Asia for another ASX-listed retail and consumer goods firms, Ecofibre and BWX.
“The appointments of industry specialists will ensure our operations in the Asia Pacific are overseen by the best talent in the industry and are a key part in growing Healthy Heights in the lucrative China and Australian markets,” said Fendell.
In a separate release dated 3 August 2022, NGS announced the launch of Healthy heights in South Korea through cross-border e-commerce. It will work with the nation’s largest online retailer Coupang Co, which has 18 million active customers and an annual revenue of more than US$18 bn in 2021.
South Korea was chosen based on survey findings on dietary practices and nutritional statuses of Korean infants, children and adolescents. For instance, they were found to skip breakfast, and consumed fast food and sugary drinks. The portfolio was rolled out in July 2022.
“Our Healthy Heights range was scientifically formulated by paediatricians at the renowned Schneider Children’s medical centre in Israel as a means to support children’s diets and grant them the best possible opportunity to grow to their maximal height. This is something I believe will resonate with parents in South Korea due to the flourishing demand for nutritional children’s products in this region,” said Fendell.
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