The ‘art’ of collagen: HECH Nutrition expanding Asia footprint on the back of China success
HECH is a family-owned business specialising in beauty collagen products. The company has been in existence for 100 years but only began specialising in proteins and collagens four decades ago.
“We have over 40 years of experience with collagens. We started in sports and lifestyle nutrition before moving into the beauty space 20 years ago because we knew from very early on that there was a demand and there was an opportunity to use our knowledge to create very unique products for the beauty market,” said CEO Rolf Heidrich.
The company has recently observed a sharp increase in demand for its products in China, thanks to the cross-border e-commerce boom in the country.
“We entered China 15 years ago. For the last three years, we’ve been the second more successful brand on Tmall in the collagen space. Double-11 is absolutely huge for us. Our best-selling products have five to six thousand five-star reviews on the platform,” said Heidrich
According to Heidrich, only uses ‘the purest’ marine collagen, which allows them to pack in a higher concentration of collagen into its products.
“The reason why most brands don’t have that high of a concentration of collagen is because when you have too much of poorer collagen, it will taste bad. We use pure marine collagen. No pork, no beef, just the layer of collagen just underneath the fish skin, not the bone. It’s so pure and so clean, almost like gold,” said Heidrich.
He claimed that each of its 25 millilitre bottles contain 11 grams of collagen, while most brands have about 3.5 to 5 grams.
“There's no other brand that manages to squeeze as much collagen into one bottle or capsule as we do,” said Heidrich
Reinforcing Asia base
Heidrich believes there has been an uptick in the consumption of collagen supplements for beauty recently and hopes to capitalise on it by further expanding into Asia.
“It’s not just women anymore, we are also seeing men buying product from our Pure Women range. In Asia, the usage among men is very high.”
The company is currently working to expand further into Asia through Japan and Singapore.
“We’re lucky in that we already have a strong following among the Japanese. They buy and ship our products from Germany. It’s also how we ended up in Singapore,” said Heidrich
Heidrich believes HECH’s products will resonate with Asian consumers because of its high-quality and effectiveness.
“I love the Asian consumer because they know exactly what they are looking for. They expect good products and they won’t comprise. They are willing to pay if the quality is good.”
He added that the company has studied the market for over a decade to give Asian consumers the best product experience.
“For Asian consumers, its more than having a product that works. It’s an experience and they want that luxury experience – from the packaging to the tastes and smell. It’s easy to extract collagen, package it up and sell it – but to get that luxury experience from it is more than that,” said Heidrich.
“We’ve been working on collagen for so long we look at it as an art. I believe the Asian consumer can recognise and appreciate this.”