Probi has signed a distribution and supply agreement with Sanofi. Following this the Consumer Healthcare division of Sanofi Korea is making a major launch of Probi´s gut health product, Probi Digestis® starting in April 2014. Probi has already delivered products and received substantial orders for the coming quarters.
Sanofi is a leading Healthcare company with more than 100.000 employees worldwide and plays an important role in the global probiotic consumer market. Sanofi's Consumer Healthcare division in Korea offers diverse vitamins, minerals, and health supplements under the well-established Cenovis brand. Sanofi Korea is one of the major players in dietary supplements in the mass retail channel in Korea.
"Probiotics is the next major growth category in Korea and the launch of Probi Digestis®will be our focus for the Cenovis brand in 2014 and 2015. In Probi Digestis® we found a high quality probiotic product with good clinical documentation and we plan to extend the Probi range further, so it will play an important role in the Cenovis probiotic strategy going forward" says DongWoo Shin, head of Consumer Healthcare Sanofi Korea.
Probi Digestis® will be launched in all channels Sanofi Korea is currently operating in, mass retail, department stores, drugstore/pharmacy, internet and TV home shopping. The product will be sold with Probi Digestis® predominantly displayed on front of the pack and Sanofi will make substantial consumer marketing investment during the launch.
"Probi is looking forward to further strengthen our presence in the fast growing Asian markets together with Sanofi Korea and the strong Cenovis brand" says Peter Nählstedt, CEO of Probi. Peter Nählstedt adds, "Sanofi is a strong global player and has potential of quickly becoming one of our largest customers."
The South Korean market for probiotic supplements is estimated to have a value of USD 54 million. The annual growth rate over the past five years has been on average 15 percent however the growth rate is expected to be even higher in the coming years. The increasing health awareness and disposable income are positive factors driving the market growth in Korea.
Probi Digestis® is based on Lactobacillus plantarum 299v (DSM 9843), which targets bloating, gas formation and pain, common symptoms that are sometimes mild or temporary but often more severe and diagnosed as IBS - Irritable Bowel Syndrome.