Powder push: Australia’s Jatcorp to manufacture own line of probiotics-containing milk powder

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Jatcorp is expecting to launch new probiotic products in April. ©Getty Images
Jatcorp is expecting to launch new probiotic products in April. ©Getty Images

Related tags: Australia, Probiotics, Milk powder

Australia exchange ASX-listed company Jatcorp (previously known as Jatenergy) is to manufacture its probiotics-containing milk powder in-house from next month, with a launch date slated for April for its new products.

The owner of numerous health food brands such as Neurio, Abbeyard, and newly added Moroka and Jinvigorate, Jatcorp currently sells probiotic drops containing Bifidobacterium animalis ​BB-12 and/or Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG) ​under the brand Neurio.

Another probiotic product that the company currently sells is the Neurio Formulated Milk Powder with Lactoferrin For the Middle-Aged.  

Neurio Formulated Milk Powder with Lactoferrin For the Middle-Aged
Neurio Formulated Milk Powder with Lactoferrin For the Middle-Aged

The product, which come in the form of powder sachets, contain Bifidobacterium lactis, ​as well as ingredients such as lactoferrin, galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), and fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS). 

From March, it will manufacture this product, as well as its new probiotic products in-house for the first time in its Australian Natural Milk Association (ANMA) factory located in Derrimut, Victoria.  

Acquired in 2019, the facility has been expanded to a land area of 400m2​, which is more than double the existing production area.

The factory will be split into two parts, one will exclusively manufacture probiotic finished products, while the rest of the company’s products will be made in the remaining space.

The probiotics products will be made into sachet powder and cans, with a production capacity of 180k cans each month.

“There is a huge demand, especially in Asia and more so in China, for probiotics. Also, globally there is demand for probiotics because of the influence that probiotics can have on gut health which in turn influences everything else in the body,”​ operations Manger Lena Neill told NutraIngredients-Asia, ​on the company’s decision in expanding the probiotic line.

Another benefit of doing so is to help the company increase profits by retaining the manufacturer’s margin and exert control over the production process.

She declined to reveal details about the new probiotic powder products, but said they would be catered to adults and children, excluding babies.

The company’s bestselling brand Neurio consists of a range of milk powder formula containing lactoferrin, DHA softgel, mushroom juice drink containing vitamin D, and goat milk formula for infants to toddlers.

In FY20, the company delivered gross profit of AUD$14.6m (US$11m), a yoy growth of 142%.

The success is largely driven by the performance in China, where the products are distributed online and offline by firms such as Suning, Shengding, Cyclone e-commerce, and Kiss Kangaroo.

Its first retail store in China, branded JAT Maternity and Infant Boutique, is also expected to open in March.

With a store area of 50sqm, it will sell the company’s in-house brands.

If successful, the company intends to open more stores in Shanghai and other Chinese cities.

Lactoferrin boost

The company has also seen high demand for its lactoferrin milk powder products, especially in China.

Neill pointed out that lactoferrin has been particularly well-known for its benefits in supporting the immune system amongst China consumers. In contrast, the domestic Australian market is less familiar with the ingredient.

Since December 2019, the company’s Neurio dairy products containing lactoferrin has seen strong demand in China.

Driven by COVID-19, the orders for Neurio brands hit new records in February and March last year, at AUD$2m (US$1.5m) and AUD$1.8m (US$1.3m) respectively.

To which, the company launched a new lactoferrin formula branded Moroka last year – which is exclusively distributed by Shengding into China’s supermarkets.

The milk powder sachet also contains immunoglobulin (IgG) and fructo-oligosaccharide (FOS).

Aside from China, the company has recently started to export its Neurio products to Vietnam, Taiwan, while also planning to introduce its products into South Korea, Japan, and the wider South East Asia.

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