Australian probiotics outfit Evolution Health experiencing Chinese boom

The demand for Australian health products in China has benefited companies like Evolution Health. ©iStock

Steady demand for Australian health products has prompted Melbourne-based probiotics specialist Evolution Health to invest heavily in China, with the firm now eyeing greater global expansion.

Established in 2006, the private family business has been doing well in China, reporting a 350% sales growth within the financial year of 2015 to 2016. Many of its products are designed for mothers and children.

According to Evolution Health’s managing director, Ben McHarg, they also prefer Australian products because of their “clean and green” reputation.

“Over the last two and a half years, we’ve invested substantial time in the Chinese market looking at what inspires and motivates our customers to buy products beyond being Australian-made, and celebrity endorsement is a key influencing factor.”

The main focus of the company’s marketing in China is its Life-Space brand, for which Chinese actress Tamia Liu is the official spokesperson. McHarg said she was chosen for the role “not only because she’s a popular and famous Chinese actress but because she fits the brand values as a mother and role model”.

Singles' Day

First introduced to the Chinese market in 2014, Life-Space is now the largest Australian probiotics brand in China with its flagship ecommerce store on TMall the top performing probiotic store in the 2016 Singles’ Day promotion.

Earlier this year, the country’s Commerce Ministry held back on plans to enforce stricter cross-border e-commerce rules. Thanks to the free trade zone model, this has been advantageous to foreign companies like Evolution Health. Such firms have been able to avoid China’s complicated local registration requirements, allowing their goods to be sold there as personal rather than commercial trade.

Life-Space will also be launched in other key markets in Asia, Europe and North America. McHarg said, “We believe our brand has global appeal and we see a real opportunity to contribute to the health and well-being of consumers across many more countries.”

Probiota Asia 2017 

The Probiota series is growing, and in October 2017, Singapore will host the first ever Probiota Asia event. Building on the success of the annual global Probiota and Probiota Americas events, Probiota Asia will focus exclusively on this high growth market and the challenges it faces.

Save the date: 11-13 October 2017

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