Competitive edge: Japan active nutrition brand VALX lands in Hong Kong as first step of Asian expansion

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

VALX has launched its protein products and EAA9 supplements in the Hong Kong e-commerce market. ©Leverage Co Ltd
VALX has launched its protein products and EAA9 supplements in the Hong Kong e-commerce market. ©Leverage Co Ltd

Related tags active nutrition Supplements Whey protein Japan

Japan-based active nutrition brand VALX has launched its protein products and EAA9 supplements in the Hong Kong e-commerce market, boosted by positive responses from local consumers during a pop-up event earlier this year.

The brand is owned by Leverage Co Ltd, which also operates fitness gyms across Japan and a search site specialising in personal trainers.

According to Yohei Omori, Chief Branding Officer, VALX’s first overseas pop-up in Hong Kong was met with “great success” and received positive feedback from local consumers.

“We were able to run a two-month pop-up at the bustling K11 Art Mall, reaching out to people of all ages and backgrounds. Many who tried our samples loved the taste and even made purchases on the spot, which gave us valuable insights for growing our presence in Hong Kong.

“In response to customer requests for a place to continue buying our products, we decided to start selling on Hong Kong’s major online shopping platform HKTV mall. In addition, we have also launched English versions of our domestic e-commerce site and an official Instagram account,” ​Omori told NutraIngredients-Asia​.

In future, the brand plans to expand its presence in Hong Kong through distribution at bakery stores, sales through vending machines located in fitness facilities, and new pop-up stores. A physical shop with a “tasting lounge” where consumers can sample products is also on the cards.

“Hong Kong residents have always had a high awareness of health, and their average life expectancy is among the highest in the world, on par with Japan.

“In recent years, the rapid increase in small 24-hour gyms has lowered the barrier for people to engage in gym training, further raising health consciousness. This trend reflects potential in the country’s active nutrition market.”

Beyond Hong Kong, the firm is seeking opportunities for expansion across Asia, including major Chinese cities, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, and India.

“While the protein and fitness supplement market has been dominated by Western brands, we believe that VALX, as a Made in Japan brand, holds a competitive edge in terms of taste, stringent quality control, and commitment to safety. We hope people from various Asian countries will get to experience VALX firsthand.”

Building a bigger portfolio

VALX’s best-seller is its whey protein powder series, with its popularity attributed to “a well-balanced combination of deliciousness, high quality, and functionality”.

The brand aims to overturn the conventional perception of whey protein being unappealing in terms of taste by introducing various flavours, such as chocolate, café au lait, matcha, mixed berries, banana, and royal milk tea.

The whey protein powder is also claimed to be easily dissolved and have a smooth texture.

VALX’s products are developed in partnership with famed Japanese bodybuilder and trainer Yoshinori Yamamoto, whose YouTube channel has over 700,000 subscribers and total number of social media followers amounting to more than 1.3m.

“Individuals with an active mindset who engage in regular exercise and training are our core target audience. To promote VALX, our first step was to enhance engagement with the active community through collaborations with top athletes and sports personalities worldwide, alongside Yoshinori Yamamoto.

“Furthermore, we aim to empower everyone to boldly take on life’s challenges, regardless of age or gender. Through VALX, we aspire to provide an energetic and powerful feeling, and support a lifestyle that helps people become more positive and happier,” ​Omori said.

The company is looking to expand its range of protein products and EAA9 (nine essential amino acids) supplements by exploring the addition of new ingredients, functionalities, and appealing flavours.

“These include high-functionality and high value-added supplements tailored to specific needs or user demographics, such as beauty for women, growth promotion for younger individuals, and health support for seniors. Additionally, we are considering the development of convenient packaging for high-protein, low-carb foods and drinks.”

Active Lifestyle Nutrition will be a major topic of focus at Growth Asia Summit 2024 – join us in Singapore to learn about market opportunities and glean insights from major industry experts. Find out more here

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