Herbalife bullish on China market
Company seeking M&A opportunities to expand product portfolio, double sales revenue
Herbalife Nutrition Ltd, a US-based nutrition company, is bullish on the prospects of the Chinese market, which will become the its biggest market in the next few years as consumers increasingly focus on healthy lifestyles and nutrition.
“At present, China is the most important market for Herbalife, and also the thirdlargest market behind the United States and Mexico,” said Zheng Qunyi, chairman of Herbalife Nutrition China.
The US firm is now seeking merger and acquisition opportunities in the country and expanding its product portfolio, with an aim to double sales revenue in the next few years, according to Zheng.
China is a growing market for Herbalife. Over the past five years, the company has generated revenue of more than $23 billion worldwide and over $3.5 billion from the c o u n t r y, with a compound annual growth rate of more than 17 percent.
The nutrition firm has been present in the country since 2005, and has three plants in Nanjing and Suzhou in Jiangsu province and Changsha in Hunan province.
The Nanjing facility, which opened in 2016, conducts testing and analysis of ingredients and products, while the Suzhou facility began operations, manufacturing powders and tablets for the domestic market, in 2000.
According to German consulting company Roland Berger, owing to consumption upgrade and advantageous government policies, the size of the country’s nutrition market is forecast to reach about 180 billion yuan ($26.15 billion) by 2020, with an average annual growth rate of 8 percent, giving it the potential to replace the US as the largest market in the world in the foreseeable future.
The consultancy said the rapid growth of the nutrition market is creating unprece- dented opportunities and challenges for the industry and companies need to make preparations in areas such as product development, branding, sales channels and international collaboration.
Herbalife has said it will invest 700 million yuan to expand its business in the country and help address public policy challenges such as obesity.
The company will also seek cooperation with four Chinese universities in the future and fund research covering direct sales, sourcing of raw materials, production quality, health and growing obesity problems. Each of the universities is expected to play an important role in Herbalife’s development.
In addition to investment, Herbalife has built partnerships with leading businesses in the nation. It entered into an agreement with Tasly, a Chinese pharmaceutical company, in 2017.
The partners will team up to improve the health of people in the country and around the world, cooperating on product development, manufacturing, and increased access to local and global networks and customers.
Customers select Herbalife nourishment products at a healthcare exhibition in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province.