Chinese baby food and supplements supplier Health & Happiness (H&H) Group acquired Good Gout for EUR 30 million (US$34 million) last October.
Since then, the company launched its ‘Good Gout overseas flagship store’ on Tmall International in May 2019.
In June, it launched its products on Shanghainese e-commerce app ‘Little Red Book’, followed by JD.com in August.
Pascale Laborde, global CEO of Good Gout, told FoodNavigator-Asia and NutraIngredients-Asia: “Currently, the China market has only a small number of brands and products that are truly healthy and organic kids snacks, but there is significant demand in this area.”
In China, there are 146 million children aged three to 12 years old.
“The average consumption of childrens’ snacks is four times the volume of infant food,” she said.
“We estimate the whole market capacity of kids snacks is over 100 billion RMB (US$14 billion) a year. There is huge potential. ”
Taste is still key
Laborde said Chinese customers were currently facing a children snack market that was inconsistent in quality.
“They will consider the ingredients, nutrition, brand and whether the product is packaged independently.”
It is likely that, “choosing healthy, safe and tasty food that suitable for children is becoming a new trend.”
However, China’s children healthy snack market is still not as established as markets in Europe or America.
She said a limitation was consumers’ perception that organic didn’t mean good taste.
“There are also limitations in ingredients, product quality supervision and government restrictions, so there is not a strong offering for parents to purchase organic children snacks in the Chinese market.”
The company claims its products can overturn traditional views that organic food taste terrible.
Some of the products available in China are the organic fruit purees, which “contains 99% puree made from fruits and a drop of lemon juice,” and organic chocolate biscuits which contains “11 natural food ingredients, additive free, and 30% less sugar than competitors’ products.”
“These products are popular among European children, and we think Chinese consumers will enjoy them too,” Laborde said.
Moving into Asia
Their launch in China is Good Gout’s first step into Asia.
Laborde said in the next few months, the firm would be on board “with Tmall official flagship store, Kaola.com, VIP.com and other e-commerce channels.”
“We also intend to launch in premium supermarkets offline, similar to the model in France where the brand has become one of the fastest organic companies.”
“We will launch in Ole’ Supermarket in August in China, and in Hong Kong and Singapore through key retail channels in September.”
H&H Group now has six brands to date, including Biostime, Swisse Wellness, Healthy Times, Dodie, Good Gout, and Aurelia Probiotic Skincare.
The company reported revenue of over US$1 billion in 2018.
According to Laborde, Good Gout production will remain in Europe, and “we will bring them to the Asian market with cross-border e-commerce channels.”
The company’s R&D are based in France, Australia, US, Ireland and China.