Q&A: Market advice from Down Under

Radek Sali, Swisse Wellness

Originating from Australia, Swisse Wellness recently made a splash into the U.S. market with brand ambassador Nicole Kidman leading the way. DSN didn't land an interview with Kidman, who was up for two Golden Globes last month, so we got in touch with her Swisse Wellness boss Radek Sali — CEO of the company and 2012 GQ Australia businessman of the year — for some insights into the company's approach to the U.S. launch.

DSN: What's the opportunity for supplements in the U.S. market?

Radek Sali: It does remind me very much of the Australian market. [The U.S. market] is ready for transition; it's ready for a brand with personality to take a significant market share and explain to people in the mass market the benefits of nutrition. The leading player here has a 5% market share. We have a 15% market share in Australia, and that market was similarly fragmented [in the beginning]. We see an opportunity to grow the entire market.

DSN: What are the one or two categories in the United States that will serve as a point of entry for Swisse?

Sali: Two core categories for us in Australia are multivitamins and krill oil. Both of them have got unique stories. Because we see it as a premium in multivitamins [in Australia], and we see it here as a premium price point in multivitamins as well. We feel there is a broad offering here, but most of the multivitamins are primarily focused at the mid-market or the more budget-conscious. There aren't many premium offerings. ... If you look at the krill oil category, in Australia if you looked at it three years ago, it wasn't sitting there as a top 20 [VMS] category, and now it's the No. 1 category in Australia. Here in the United States, [krill oil] is definitely not sitting in that top 20, so we see that as an opportunity to grow the omega-3 market. Fish oil is one important part of that, but krill oil is a huge opportunity based on the fact that it's [better absorbed] than a traditional fish oil [and] it's a smaller tablet. ... So we see that as an opportunity to grow the category as well.

For the full audio Q&A, click here.

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