Star power? Actress-owned health food brand LYASNU eager to break into SEA markets following record sales in South Korea

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

South Korean brand LYASNU has attributed the popularity of its enzyme powder sticks to young consumers with digestion troubles. ©Getty Images
South Korean brand LYASNU has attributed the popularity of its enzyme powder sticks to young consumers with digestion troubles. ©Getty Images

Related tags South korea Enzyme health foods

South Korean brand LYASNU has attributed the popularity of its enzyme powder sticks to young consumers with digestion troubles, whom it seeks to further appeal to with new products targeting facial puffiness, immunity improvement and fatigue relief.

The brand name is derived from the abbreviations of its founder Lee Young-ae’s name and Seoul National University (SNU), which co-developed the products.

Since the debut of its first products, Active Enzyme and Sprout Enzyme powder sticks, LYASNU has reportedly seen a 140% growth every month, with a repurchase rate of 30%.

Currently, the products are sold online via its official website, as well as e-commerce platforms Naver Smart Store, Kakao Store, and Coupang.

The enzyme powders are targeted at women in their 20s to 40s, who often feel bloated after meals, suffer from indigestion and constipation, consume fast food regularly, binge eat or drink, have unbalanced or irregular diets, or are constantly in a state of fatigue.

According to the firm, a large volume of sales, in fact, come from family households. It is observed that health-conscious female consumers tend to buy the products for the entire family.

After setting record sales of KRW250m (USD189,000) in a day, LYASNU’s expansion plans have been put into motion.

“We are in talks to retail our products at offline stores in Korea, while actively looking for distributors. We hope to export to the whole world, but for a start, we are targeting Thailand. Based on my experience in overseas markets for more than 10 years, I’ve learned that it is a major market [for such products].

“Following that, we want to enter other countries in the South East Asia (SEA) region, such as Myanmar, Laos, and Malaysia. We’re also looking at the US, Middle East and Europe,” ​Hyeong Min Ann, leader of LYASNU’s Distribution Logistics Team, told NutraIngredients-Asia​.

More products to come

Enzymes are known to help with digestion and absorption of nutrients by breaking down ingested food.

With age, enzyme production is reduced in the stomach, pancreas and small intestine, while enzyme activity also decreases. Insufficient enzymes in the body can cause indigestion and poor nutrient absorption, and toxins may accumulate in the intestines.

Furthermore, fast food and irregular diets are said to hinder enzymes from working properly.

“Unlike most products out there, the Active Enzyme and Sprout Enzymeare made from 100% natural grain-fermented enzymes. No refined enzymes are added to artificially increase potency (numerical value indicating the activity of which enzymes break down carbohydrates and proteins).”

The carbohydrate-active enzymes and proteolytic enzymes in Active Enzyme have a maximum potency of 400,000 units and 600 units respectively. For Sprout Enzyme, its carbohydrate-active enzymes and proteolytic enzymes have a potency of 300,000 units and 400 units respectively.

As Sprout Enzyme contains 20 types of vegetable powder and lactobacillus​ probiotics, it is especially recommended for those who have constipation and do not like eating vegetables.

“Users can choose to take it in its powder form or with water, once or twice a day. It can also be mixed with foods like yoghurt or milk, depending on personal preference.”

At the recent THAIFEX – Anuga Asia 2023, LYASNU introduced its latest product, SoSo Tea, which is formulated with Korean mature pumpkins and moringa leaves.

“It is free of calories, preservatives, sugar, caffeine, and artificial ingredients. Pumpkin was chosen [as an ingredient] because of its effects in moisturising and removing puffiness. We believe it will appeal to women who are concerned about bloated faces,” ​said Ann.

In addition, the firm is working on a new product called Korean Red Ginseng Extract Stick that is expected to be commercially ready within the next three months.

“Korean red ginseng is a traditional superfood for people of all ages. The product will be made from high-quality six-year-old red ginseng concentrate​, which serves to improve immunity and fatigue, and has antioxidant effects. It will be first launched in Korea,” ​Ann added.

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