CJ Wellcare, part of Korea’s CJ Group, is eyeing growth in the lucrative beauty-from-within and probiotic supplement markets in the US and emerging Southeast Asian market, believing that the success of the Korean wave will put it in good stead in its overseas expansion ambition.
CJ Wellcare was formed last year as a health and wellness spin-off from CJ CheilJedang which is primarily in the food business. Its probiotic brand ‘BYO’ and beauty-from-within brand ‘innerb’ are the 2 major supplement portfolios from CJ Wellcare. It also owns multivitamin brand Dr. Nutri, weight loss brand Fatdown and ginseng beverage brand Hanppuri.
In 2023, CJ Wellcare is on track in growing its overseas presence, especially in the US and the Southeast Asian markets comprising of Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, said Victoria Cho, Head of R&D at CJ Wellcare in an interview with NutraIngredients-Asia.
Victoria said the company has decided to introduce its supplements into the US at this point following the success of Korean dumplings and frozen pizzas sold by CJ Foods US operations.
The Kpop wave has popularised Korean products as consumers also want to emulate Korean celebrities both in terms of health, taste and fashion. This has somewhat supported demand for CJ Wellcare’s products.
Aside from strong international demand, CJ Wellcare’s aggressive overseas expansion is also due to the stiff competition it faces in the home market. Victoria said that it hopes for the company to be the pioneer in introducing Korean supplements to international markets.
In addition, Victoria is confident that its supplements have a competitive edge over existing ones in overseas markets due to their better taste and texture. She said, “For example the collagen powder or protein powder, North America or American products taste too bitter or too sweet and the texture is not as good as the Japanese or Korean products.”
Korean supplements resemble its Japanese counterparts which are fanciful and also have good taste, while at the same time do not compromise on delivering the health benefits to consumers.
In the next few months, the firm plans to launch its multivitamin gummies for immune and general health. There are also plans to develop next-gen, new functional ingredients from natural products.