Aussie Micro seeing sweet distribution potential in China
Health & Biotech
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Special Report: Fresh off the back of securing a $9.3 million strategic placement, diversified health and wellness investment group EVE Investments is scaling up its commercialisation in the Asia Pacific region with a strategic expansion into China.
Perth-based investment group EVE Investments Limited (ASX:EVE) has identified China as the next frontier for a growing range of nutritional health and wellness products that are finding resonance with overseas customers.
In an interview with Stockhead, EVE Investments chief operating officer Ben Rohr said China represented a key growth market for the company as it looks to expand its Meluka Australia honey and essential tea tree product range into Asia Pacific.
“We’re in China presenting products to a very large distribution network and what’s most exciting is that it’s a market with a great thirst for natural product offerings like those EVE has on offer,” he told Stockhead.
The planned expansion anchors a strategy that has already seen significant traction locally, with Meluka Australia appointing a new distributor for Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania in the last quarter, meaning all Australian consumers can now access Meluka’s premium honey products.
“Meluka Australia is just the sweet spot in our plans to give the Chinese market a fully fledged and diversified range of health and wellness solutions. Both the growth of the Chinese middle class and the rising appetite for premium quality Australian products means that we are entering the market at just the right time to really capitalise on growing interest in a unique brand that Aussies know and love.”
Since 2010, net global honey demand has grown at a rate of 19,504 tons per year, with figures from Taylor and Francis Group showing China to be the number one export country for honey by volume over the last ten years.
Rohr has strong ambitions for Meluka Australia, saying it has the capacity to do well in Chinese markets, like in the US, where it has a strong point of difference as a “very rare kind of honey” – one that is “truly organic”.
“Meluka is fortunate to have an organic tea tree plantation in Northern NSW which is among the largest in the world. This plantation is in the pristine Bungawalbyn Valley – the birthplace of the tea tree species. The result is a unique Australian-based honey,” Rohr added.
Spearheading this launch into China is EVE’s collaboration with Hunan Yandi Bioengineering Co. Ltd (Yandi), that will see its honey and essential oil products sold into mainland China.
Yandi have an initial interest in Meluka Australia’s tea tree honey, native raw honey and tea tree oil products, which they see as a “perfect fit” across its member-based distribution channels spanning over one million members.
Meluka Australia produces two main types of honey, everyday organic and raw Meluka honey and an infused range – which include tea tree honeys and a digestible hemp-seed honey. EVE, which has full ownership or part stakes in Meluka Health, Jenbrook, Naturally Australia Products, and Omni Medical Nutrition – has already gained considerable traction in the US and Japan.
In August, EVE appointed Buy Box Experts (previously Nozani) to assist with executing its Amazon US expansion strategy, giving the company an important foothold in the US market. Buy Box Experts are a highly regarded Amazon focused company assisting in formulating Meluka Honey’s Amazon strategy.
“Aside from our premium honey offering, the demand for Jenbrook’s organic tea tree oil, particularly from the US market, continues to outstrip supply and we are now implementing initiatives to increase the supply of organic tea tree oil and the newly developed tea tree extract. China represents the next logical step for this product,” Rohr said.
Given the size and opportunity afforded by demand for premium consumer-based products in China, Rohr told Stockhead that he was incredibly excited by the prospect of delivering Meluka’s premium products into this market.
“Honey is the sweet spot for Chinese investors. The size of the honey market in China is significant and we are seeing a really encouraging response from our initial conversations in the region. It’s only a matter of time before investors worldwide have Meluka Honey on their lips.”