There has been a surge in the anti-hangover supplement category over the past year and REVIT’s anti-hangover gummies claim to be the first-of-its-kind in Singapore.
“There are close to 10 brands of anti-hangover cures in the local market right now, but we are the only one with the gummy format. Our goal is to make the whole drinking experience more enjoyable, especially for people who face difficulty swallowing pills and have severe hangover symptoms.
“Taste is an important factor, so we developed a formula to make the product both tasty and sugar-free. The flavour mainly comes from natural extracts of honey and lemon, with no added sugar or preservatives,” Damian Cheong, co-founder of REVIT, told NutraIngredients-Asia.
According to Cheong, the growing number of hangover remedies in the market is likely due to a drinking boom following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“More people started drinking at home during the lockdown, and after the reopening, the number of bars in the country had increased rapidly. While local consumers have generally become more health-conscious, they still want to have a good time, and so there is definitely a market for hangover cures.”
At the moment, the gummies come in a single flavour — Honey Lemon. Rather than exploring new formats, the firm is looking to work on flavour innovation next.
“Although there are many other potential product formats, our focus is on developing new flavours. When I think of gummies, it induces joy and happiness. I like the idea of spreading joy to more people, so it would be nice to offer a wider range of flavours.
“We did some small surveys to see what consumers are interested in. The most common answer we had was grape. We’ll need to do some R&D to see how the taste will turn out [before bringing it to the market],” Cheong explained.
Open to opportunities
REVIT’s anti-hangover gummies are currently available on its website, e-commerce platforms such as Shopee and Doctor Anywhere Marketplace, and selected bars in Singapore.
“Sales for the first few months were pretty slow. We realised the importance of marketing and started working on raising brand awareness and exploring new ways, such as participating in events, to reach out to more consumers. After that, sales have been doubling and tripling month-on-month. We aim for the progress to continue from here on,” said Cheong.
The firm has also received some orders from Malaysia and Hong Kong, which has sparked expansion aspirations.
“The category is still relatively young in Singapore and has a lot of potential, so we are hoping to grow our brand here first. Nevertheless, we are open to any opportunity for expansion. Hopefully by mid next year, we will be able to have presence in at least two overseas markets.
“The markets in Japan, South Korea, the UK and US are big, but competition is also strong. I would say South East Asia is a region with great market opportunities, although we need to take into account the purchasing power of consumers and product pricing in these markets.”
In response to reports stating that gummy supplements typically contain lesser nutrient content than other formats, Cheong said: “The amount of ingredients will affect how the gummy is formed. It doesn’t really make sense to make a huge gummy. Therefore, we put two gummies in each serving pack.
“Our key ingredient is dihydromyricetin (DHM), a bioactive flavonoid from edible plants and one of the main ingredients in most hangover cures. In fact, we have almost twice the amount of DHM in our gummies as compared to our competitors’ products.”
He also addressed concerns on how anti-hangover products could create a false sense of security.
“We understand the concerns. On our part, we advocate healthy drinking habits. While our product is made of natural ingredients that would not cause side effects, we put disclaimers and dosage recommendation on the packaging to discourage misuse. Ultimately, the responsibility lies with the user to make well-informed decisions.”
The breakdown process of alcohol involves the metabolisation of ethanol into acetaldehyde – a toxic substance and carcinogen. Acetaldehyde is then broken down into acetate, which is further metabolised and discharged from the body as carbon dioxide and water.
“Asian flush” occurs when enzymes that break down alcohol do not function properly or efficiently enough, whereas the buildup of ethanol and acetaldehyde in the body leads to hangover symptoms.
REVIT’s gummies claim to help accelerate the alcohol breakdown process, and in turn reduce Asian flush and alleviate hangover symptoms, but the level of efficacy varies for each individual.
At the same time, the brand seeks to overcome skepticism about the effectiveness of its product via a 21-day money-back guarantee policy.
“If you purchase the product and feel that it doesn’t work for you, we will provide a one-time refund for the price of the whole packet. So far, no one has asked for a refund since the launch,” Cheong added.