Turmeric take-off: How Malaysian health drink hit 80% sales growth in under a year powered by local focus

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

Turmeric-ginger beverage brand Jiang Yeah Yeah (Grandpa Ginger) has hit sales growth of some 80% across nine months after going viral in Malaysia. ©Wen Ling Beauty and Healthy
Turmeric-ginger beverage brand Jiang Yeah Yeah (Grandpa Ginger) has hit sales growth of some 80% across nine months after going viral in Malaysia. ©Wen Ling Beauty and Healthy

Related tags Malaysia Turmeric Ginger

Turmeric-ginger beverage brand Jiang Yeah Yeah (Grandpa Ginger) has hit sales growth of some 80% across nine months after going viral in Malaysia – and it has plans to go much further.

The company’s main focus after developing the Jiang Yeah Yeah brand was to increase local presence, mainly by capitalising on multiple events, trade shows, exhibitions and even morning and night markets in the country.

“We are the first in the world to develop this turmeric-ginger health drink with multiple benefits, especially for joints and arteries, and we wanted to focus on the local market first before looking at the international scene,”​ said Wendy Lim, Director at Wen Ling Beauty and Healthy, the firm that owns and operates the Jiang Yeah Yeah brand.

Though she admitted that pick-up was slower when the product was first launched in September last year, face-to-face approach has since worked well for the company since early this year, especially considering its relatively high price point at RM128 (US$30.6) per 750ml bottle.

The product has seen exceptional success in the states of Johor and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, which both contributed significantly to its 80% growth rate across the last five or six months.

“We do hope to replicate this success and expand the same way to all states in Malaysia first – our next target state is Penang,” ​Lim told us.

“After that, hopefully we will also be able to expand to countries such as China and Singapore. We’re taking it step by step though.”

A major unique selling point of the Jiang Yeah Yeah drink is its high turmeric content, which not only gives it a distinctive bright yellow colour but has also been the subject of various studies for its strong anti-inflammatory properties.

Although Lim said that the recipe and ingredient mix is a closely guarded secret, she did reveal that the product contains turmeric from Thailand, ginger from Bentong, Malaysia, organic lemon from Spain, organic honey from Australia, and locally-sourced garlic and apple cider.

The drink is also free of artificial fragrances, colourants and preservatives.

Bentong ginger is known as the ‘king of ginger’, and many tourists flock to the village to buy this. Its skin is thinner and its level of spiciness is higher than regular ginger. As for pricing, it is commonly up to five times more expensive too.

Health benefits

In comparison with other ginger-based products in the market, Lim emphasised that the health benefits of Jiang Yeah Yeah are heightened due to its unique ingredient composition.

“Lemon and turmeric are known to be very good for joints, and many consumers have fed back that consumption of Jiang Yeah Yeah has had visible positive effects on vascular capillary blockage,”​ she said.

“We have also seen it having positive effects on hormone balance, uterine protection, weight loss and more.”

Moving forward, the company will first be developing a garlic-free version of the beverage, because some  vegetarians do not consume garlic or onions for cultural or religious reasons.

“One of our major challenges is in terms of the product’s high price point, which is unavoidable due to the high costs that go into it. [As such], we definitely want to achieve stability with this product and provide assurance to [existing] consumers, [then] look at innovating further”​ said Lim.

Turmeric benefits

Turmeric has been the subject of many scientific studies across the years, primarily surrounding its health benefits.

Its primary active component is the curcumin polyphenol, which has been said to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, anti-anxiety, anti-arthritic and many other benefits to health.

As such, researchers say that it can contribute to improving health conditions such as arthritis, skin irritation, heart attack reduction, metabolic syndrome and more.

On its own, curcumin has very low bioavailability in the body and needs to be accentuated by other components (termed herbal bioenhancers), for example ginger.

Ginger can increase curcumin bioavailability by some 43% according to a 2012 Scientific World Journal​ study, and this is likely why Jiang Yeah Yeah’s recipe incorporates both of these.

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