European supplements brand aims to take bigger bite out of Asian weight loss market

By Millette Burgos contact

- Last updated on GMT

Forte Pharma's slimming line recently won an award from Watsons.
Forte Pharma's slimming line recently won an award from Watsons.

Related tags: South east asia, Southeast asia, Asia, Hong kong

Spanish firm Reig Jofre’s nutritional supplements line Forte Pharma is looking towards South East Asia for expansion, after establishing a firm foothold in Hong Kong and Macau. 

The company's drink Vitality 4 and weight management supplements Turboslim Calorie Trapper, Turboslim Drink Peach tea and Turboslim Fat Redux 900mg are already available in East Asia.

The slimming products recently won an award from local retailer Watsons for best-selling food supplement product in the slimming category.

“Our strategy is to develop our presence in South East Asia step-by-step with strong partners and build the awareness of the Forté Pharma brand,” ​said Cédric Rinaudo, International Sales Manager at Forte Pharma.

“Hong Kong and Macau are open windows for the rest of the South East Asia regions. Indeed, even if the territories are small, these countries have many visitors from all over the world and from here we can find potential partners for the other South East Asian countries.”

Rinaudo said there are many competitors in Asia for these product ranges, especially supplements originating from China, Japan or the US.

“But thanks to our know-how, and being a European brand, our internal analysis shows that we appeal to consumers in Asia by offering products showing high level quality and efficiency.”

New products 

By mid-year, the company plans to launch a new product from its energy line, and another in the weight loss category. By second half of the year, two more products from its beauty range will enter Hong Kong and Macau’s markets.

“These will be launched under the nutraceutical categories. However, these products need to be registered, and could potentially be qualified as drugs by the local authorities depending on the active ingredients of each formula. We must bear in mind that local regulation can change without notice,” ​said Rinaudo.

He added that the registration process could take several months, more so if the product is categorised as a ‘drug’. 

He added the company would research any new market in great detail.

“We have to define clearly the optimal distribution channel prior to opening a new market,”​ Rinaudo said.

“We know that a Watsons store in Hong Kong is totally different from one in China or Taiwan. This goes to show that an accurate analysis of the local culture and consumer needs is essential for adapting our business strategy.”

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