FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH

Jebsen Industrial Specialty Ingredients & Solutions pursues a strong growth strategy

 

As China’s health and wellness industry picks up speed, Jebsen Industrial’s Specialty Ingredients & Solutions (SI&S) is going after success by growing its portfolio and reach. The division has created a niche for itself with food ingredients and nutritional solutions that resonate with the modern Chinese consumer.

 

In China, health awareness has been marked as a rising consumer trend. Nielsen’s Global Health and Wellness Survey, released in January 2015, reported that 75% of Chinese respondents regarded diet as an important weight management tool. They are keen on “fresh, natural and minimally processed” food as well as “functional foods that can either reduce the risk of disease or promote good health.”

 

Against such a promising market background, Dr Elizabeth Leung, General Manager of Jebsen Industrial’s Specialty Ingredients & Solutions, discusses the division’s growth strategy and business direction.

 

Dr Elizabeth Leung, General Manager of Jebsen Industrial’s Specialty Ingredients & Solutions

 

How is SI&S approaching the market?

We believe that health and nutrition is more than a trend. It is a lifestyle choice for many consumers, and one that more will embrace in the future. Food is an important part of Chinese culture. The Chinese people have always placed emphasis on eating well but I think the definition of ‘well’ is evolving. People are beginning to take more pride in eating food that is good for them, rather than rare and expensive delicacies. At Jebsen Industrial, we seek to support this lifestyle choice by making nutrition more affordable, accessible and available. Our strategy is to grow our portfolio, grow our own brand and grow our market reach.

 

Please tell us how SI&S is growing its portfolio.

Jebsen Group, as a whole, seeks to enrich lives by providing a choice of quality products and services. A broad portfolio allows us to better meet the different and diverse needs of our customers and gives us more room to customise solution packages based on their requirements. For this reason, we are constantly sourcing the world for new products to introduce to the market. As we believe in long-term partnerships, our assessment of potential principals covers the company itself as well as its products. We have a strong preference for naturally sourced and scientifically proven solutions with high food safety and quality standards.

 

Most recently, we have signed exclusive agreements with two new principals, one each for our food ingredients and nutrition and health portfolios. We are now proud to represent DEK, one of the leading suppliers of instant coffee and instant coffee drinks to the retail own-brand market, in China. The German company maintains the highest levels of quality by managing the entire value chain internally, from selecting their coffee bean suppliers to roasting, production and fully automated packaging. Their HACCP quality management has also been certified to ISO 9001:2000 standards and conforms to International Food Standard (IFS) and BRC Global Standards. This gives us the confidence to offer DEK products to our customers.

 

In the nutrition and health sector, we have brought on board Maqui New Life Inc (MNL) from Switzerland. The company specialises in natural health products and functional ingredients derived from the Chilean maqui berry, known to have the highest levels of antioxidants in the world. MNL’s research and development into this super-berry has brought about DELPHINOL®, a standardised water extract of maqui berries that can be beneficial for blood sugar control and sports endurance, as well as Maqui Bright ™, a natural solution to combat dry eye syndrome.

 

How about Jebsen’s own brand, Weiwanjia?

We are also investing significant time and effort in growing our own brand, Weiwanjia. Since it was launched in 2014, the market has responded very positively and this is very encouraging. The idea behind Weiwanjia is to put our industry knowledge, research and development capabilities and technical expertise into good use, developing products that we know our customers need and products that our customers know they can trust.

 

Like its name suggests, Weiwanjia encourages customers to be creative because we believe that food innovation is essential to success in China’s competitive food and beverage market.

 

Our signature product is the yoghurt concentrate drink, which is tasty, nutritious and highly versatile in application. With the popularity of the Original flavour, we have recently introduced two new flavours to give our customers more options. The Weiwanjia line of products is also now more easily accessible through our new online store at http://jsconline.1688.com.

 

Is the new online store part of efforts to grow your market reach?

Yes, definitely. In August 2015, we launched our new online store on the Alibaba platform. Our goal is to raise nutritional awareness among consumers while better serving our B2B customers with greater convenience. China is now pursuing the ‘Internet Plus’ strategy of integrating Internet technologies with manufacturing and business. We believe that even food ingredients, which is traditionally an ‘offline’ industry, will eventually move in that direction. Our approach is an online-to-offline (O2O) one, which means that we view e-commerce as complementary to our existing physical distribution channels. Going online is allowing us to create greater customer value, and that is what matters most to us.

 


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