Australia’s reputation as a country with clean industry and strong food standards has helped it become a popular exporter of healthcare and nutrition products.
One illustration of this has been in the stories of Australian consumers literally fighting entrepreneurial exporters for supplies of locally made baby formula on sale in Australian supermarkets.
Companies such as Blackmores which have been targeting Asian markets with their health products have enjoyed the benefits of this demand.
In October, the vitamins business inked a deal with Bega, one of Australia’s largest dairy manufacturers, to diversify its business and get a foothold in the infant formula market.
While the joint formula business is yet to launch — it is planned to go to market in early 2016 — it’s expected to be a popular choice among foreign buyers. On the day the deal was announced at the company’s AGM, shares exploded above $200.
Christine Holgate, CEO of Blackmores, says the company’s most sought after products vary “day-to-day”, but she expects the new products with Bega to be part of that mix.
“The Pregnancy & Breastfeeding Gold is a hero… product for Blackmores,” said Holgate.
“But you know, so is Joint Formula Advanced, so is Executive B Stress Formula, so is Glucosamine. Omega Daily, we have a high-strength fish oil, and that’s really, really popular.”
Despite asking Holgate for a more specific answer, she implied she can’t just pinpoint it to one product because they can’t keep up with the demand long enough to find out.
“The reason why I’m being slightly non-committal is because what happens with our products is that we’re just selling out of it,” she told Business Insider today.
“Vitamin E Cream, we’re selling out of it. Evening Primrose Oil has got to be one of the most popular products for China, and today we probably dominate 50% of the market supply for it.”
Today, Blackmores opened its first flagship store in Australia. This follows eight concept stores which have opened across Asia.
While there are no concrete plans to grow the company’s local footprint yet, Holgate said the Asian roll out will continue.
“It’s early days,” she said about the next Australian store. “We’ll let you know how we think things are going when we talk to people at the end of February.”
“We’re continuing to roll them (the stores in Asia) out. We’d love to have one in every major market that we are serving.
“In Malaysia we opened one recently in a health clinic and that’s taught us a lot. We need to keep testing the different models so that we can bring the right advice and the right knowledge, not just to consumers, but also to support medical practitioners.”
Here’s the list of Blackmores products that Chinese customers want most.
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding Gold
- Joint Formula Advanced
- Executive B Stress Formula
- Omega Daily
- Vitamin E Cream
- Evening Primrose Oil