Big bang: Pill-and-shot supplements trending in South Korea with major brands jumping on the bandwagon

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

CJ Wellcare's Fatdown Slimming Shot.  ©CJ Wellcare
CJ Wellcare's Fatdown Slimming Shot. ©CJ Wellcare

Related tags dosage forms South korea CJ Wellcare CKD Health Amorepacific vital beautie

Major dietary supplement companies such as CJ Wellcare and CKD Health are launching new products that come in the pill-and-shot format across South Korea – in what is considered an emerging trend sweeping across the country’s nutraceutical sector.

Products in the format typically consist of a small pill or tablet and a bottle of liquid shot. Both the pill, tablet, and liquid shot are formulated with different functional ingredients.

South Korean companies such as CJ Wellcare, CKD Health, Amorepacific’s Vital Beautie, and Samjin Pharmaceutical had introduced this new dosage format in their portfolio, with a slew of new launches seen in recent weeks.

These products are designed for different purposes, from weight management to improving vitality and strengthening the immunity.  

CJ Wellcare​, for example, had announced on May 8 that it would be launching a new weight management and blood glucose regulating health functional food. Known as Fatdown Slimming Shot, it is exclusively sold in Olive Young’s online and offline stores.

The liquid shot, for instance, contains HCA – an extract from the garcinia cambogia fruit commonly consumed for weight management.

The tablet, on the other hand, contains corosolic acid extracted from banaba leaves and is commonly used for regulating postprandial blood glucose levels.

According to the company, the liquid and tablet combination could provide an ease of convenience, such that consumers could take the tablet without having to grab an additional cup of water.

It is also meant to offer a variety of dosage formats to its weight management portfolio consisting of drinks, capsules, powder sachets, as well as providing premium offerings. The new product is sold at a usual price of KRW$16,900 (US$12.30) for a box of five plus one pack. 

Samjin Pharmaceutical said in April that it had launched the Daily Engine Immune Booster Shot under the brand Wisi Healthy.

On top of a tablet and liquid shot, it also added a capsule to this product.

The liquid shot contains magnesium, zinc, vitamin B1, B2, B6, niacin for energy, muscle health and normal immune function, while each tablet contains vitamin C, B12, milk thistle, biotin for liver health, energy, and each capsule is formulated with vitamin D, E, and K, octacosanol, selenium, folic acid for endurance, cell protection.

It is marketed as a product for improving vitality during work, exercise, and liver health.

Aside from this product, it also has a Daily Engine Mag Booster Shot containing liquid shot and a tablet for improving vitality.

Sold in convenience chain store GS25, Samjin Pharmaceutical has described it as a “dual-formulation product that has been attracting attention recently”​ and “could be consumed easily and quickly without water.”​  

The company which is said to have pioneered the trend is Germany’s Orthomol. Its products are sold in South Korea officially since 2020 through its exclusive local partner DONG-A Pharmaceutical.

On Olive Young, Orthomol immun, which won the Olive Young Awards 2023, is sold at a usual price of KRW$129k (US$94.54) for a pack of 30 sets of liquid shot and capsule.

Sales of Orthomol was said to have reached KRW$27.8 billion (US$20.4m) in the first quarter of last year, up 155.2 per cent from a year ago.

“Korea’s brand owners have been searching for solutions that allow consumers to differentiate a product based on its visual and the types of usage experience that it provides, and not from product formulation,” ​Ling Rei-Ting, regional market-ready solutions lead, APAC, at DSM Nutritional Products’ Human Nutrition Health division told us previously​, citing the success of Orthomol in South Korea.

CKD Health and Amorepacific’s Vital Beautie​ have also rode on the wave, launching products containing red ginseng and green tea extract, APIC soybean embryo extract complex for weight management respectively.

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