Sanitarium announces Chinese expansion


Sydney, New Wouth Wales

Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing unveiled plans for further expansion into the Chinese market at a special event in Sydney yesterday.

I can’t wait for the day when I hear repeated to me that Chinese kids are Nutri-Brex kids.

General manager Todd Saunders described it as a milestone day for the Adventist Church-owned company.

“Today marks a new chapter in our story, and it’s a story that has been going now for over 117 years,” he said.

While Sanitarium has been selling its products in China since 2008, it was the appearance of a box of Weet-Bix in a popular Chinese TV drama earlier this year that really caught the market’s attention. Sales of “Australia’s favourite breakfast” soared in China, with people also buying up stock in Australia and reselling to Chinese consumers with huge mark-ups.

Sanitraium general manager Todd Saunders speaks at the launch of Nutri-Brex.

Mr Saunders said Chinese interest in Australian breakfast foods “is higher than it has ever been”.

“So, with that in mind, we feel that it’s a great time to launch our new brand, Nutri-Brex, into the Chinese marketplace as of next month,” he said. “It’s a brand that we have already launched with great success in the United Kingdom and we are confident that China will embrace it too.

“It gives Sanitarium a strong and distinctive new brand name to position us for growth into the future while complying with new trademark restrictions in relation to the Weet-Bix name.”

Mr Saunders said Nutri-Brex is different to Weet-Bix in name only. “It will be made in Sanitarium factories here on our shores using 100 per cent Australian wholegrain wheat with the same traditional recipe that Australian families have loved for almost 90 years,” he said.

“I can’t wait for the day when I hear repeated to me that Chinese kids are Nutri-Brex kids.”

Sanitarium, and two other Australian and New Zealand health brands, Integria Health Care and Manuka Health, are utilising the popularity and influence of Chinese TV star Alyssa Chia to promote their products.

Host Nicole (left) with Chinese TV star Alyssa Chia.

Ms Chia, who attended yesterday’s event, is known in China as a “supermum” with an interest in nutritious foods and natural therapies.