Kivia - Vital Foods launches in Australia; aims to replicate New Zealand success with digestive health range

06 June 2012

  • Vital Foods working with Nestlé Health Science sales force to market digestive supplement to 5,400 pharmacists
  • Vital Foods to introduce ‘Kivia’, an innovative new kiwifruit-based green product


Sydney – 6 June, 2012
– Vital Foods today announced the launch of its Australian operation, aiming to replicate the New Zealand success of its innovative kiwifruit-based dietary supplements.

Vital Foods – founded in New Zealand where it quickly captured a significant leading position for gastrointestinal dietary supplements – is targeting Australia’s digestive health market, which is estimated at $100 million. Vital Foods will initially market its Kivia green product range to Australia’s 5,400 pharmacists, with plans to target GPs, dietitians and nutritionists by the end of the year.

We are very confident that we can replicate in Australia the success we achieved in New Zealand,” said Dr. Gursh Bindra, CEO of Vital Foods. Dr. Bindra came to Vital Foods from the United States, and has a PhD in nutritional science and an extensive global career with major multinationals in consumer health and pharmaceuticals in product development and marketing. Vital Foods gained a significant market share in New Zealand within four years by positioning itself as an innovator in a marketplace that was ready for a clean, green new product. Likewise, in Australia we are targeting a specific sub-segment of the digestive health market that’s currently dissatisfied with the available options.”

The potential for the digestive health market in Australia is significant, as it is in many countries that share similar lifestyles and nutritional habits. Kivia is positioned in Australia as a strong green alternative to existing digestive health supplements, including a number of brands it successfully competed against in New Zealand. The company will target the over-the counter self-medication market in recognition of the important role of pharmacists and pharmacy assistants in advising consumers with digestive health complaints.

The Kivia product range includes capsules, an instant drink powder and a chewable tablet. Vital Foods’ portfolio of kiwifruit-based green dietary supplements for digestive health, particularly constipation, contain ZyactinaseTM, a proprietary kiwifruit extract that contains enzymes, prebiotics and fibre, which help the digestive health system to function normally.

The pharmacy wholesalers and the some of the major pharmacy banner groups we have spoken with in Australia were excited by the product range,” Dr Bindra said. Kivia is a medical food with clinical applications. Unlike bulk laxatives, Kivia has three key components – prebiotics, fibre and enzymes – which not only help prevent constipation but also help provide relief from digestive discomfort. Vital Foods’ goal is to educate consumers to use Kivia products for daily digestive health issues such as bloating, wind and abdominal pain.

Unlike some laxatives, Kivia does not induce diarrhoea, cramping or spasms. Clinical trials have shown that Kivia is effective in treating occasional constipation in healthy adults compared to placebo, and reduces abdominal discomfort.

Commenting on the Kivia launch, John Bell, Sydney-based Principal Adviser for Pharmacy Self Care, said: “There is a definite need in the marketplace for something that provides relief from digestive health symptoms and also attempts to treat the underlying cause. The fact that Kivia is derived from natural sources will be seen by many of our customers as a positive aspect of the product.

Nestlé Health Science provides science-based nutritional solutions delivering improved personalised healthcare for medical conditions. Nestlé Health Science, which bought a minority stake in Vital Foods in mid-2011, is providing Vital Foods with clinical expertise and funding to further strengthen the clinical support behind the Vital Foods’ products and is assisting Vital Foods in Australia to market the products to pharmacists, GPs and other health care practitioners.

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