Israel-based Nutritional Growth Solutions (NGS) has seen sales of its proprietary protein powder for children soar in the US during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sales of its Healthy Height product in America reached record levels as the COVID-19 pandemic took off there in March, leading to a doubling of consumption on a year-on-year basis.

“The purchase frequency increased from once a month prior to COVID-19 to every two to three weeks,” chief executive Liron Fendell told Stockhead.

Fendell put this higher consumption down to American families eating more meals at home and spending more time on home-based activities like schooling.

“It is a convenient option for many families,” she said.

“Our company came to the aid of parents by offering educational resources such as ideas for smoothies and ideas to occupy their time at home. And parents really engaged with the content.”


Online sales spike

Online sales increased for NGS while retail sales declined during the pandemic.

“One essential item going for us was we were selling on Amazon and our own website,” Fendell said.

Amazon considered Healthy Height an essential product and ensured that inventory was available for customers.

NGS manufactures a unique formula-based protein powder for children aged three to nine that is consumed in beverages or smoothies.

The product grew out of research by clinicians at Israel’s Schneider Children’s Medical Centre into ways that nutrition can be used to boost the height of young people.

Around 20,000 young patients from around the world visit the Schneider centre each year to seek treatment for growth issues.

Fendell said childhood height and growth prospects were a common concern for parents.


Genetics, environmental impacts on height

Researchers found that genetics accounted for 80 per cent of a child’s height, and environmental factors could explain 20 per cent of height differences in children.

Medical studies have shown that the powder can have a positive effect on children’s

In one clinical study, one group of children in a control group was given a placebo powder and grew 6cm/year, while children in another group given Healthy Height grew 7.2 to 7.5 cm/year, Fendell said.

“It was statistically significant, and articles were published on this [study] in the prestigious medical journal the Journal of Paediatrics.”

Following the clinical studies, NGS has sealed licensing deals for its protein powder in India.

At first NGS had a licensing deal for its Healthy Height powder in India with GlaxoSmithKline, which later sold the business to Unilever, and the product is sold under the Horlicks brand.

Sales information for India is currently confidential due to product licensing agreements.