Sustainable Healthcare Brand Shows Resilience by Championing Quality
The year 2020 has been a tipping point for many local companies. In the face of unprecedented challenges, Meiriki Japan had adopted all necessary anti-COVID measures at its retail level, increased sales channels and reassessed operating expense needs to grapple with the future uncertainties.
In adversity, spelling the difference between great and good companies is resilience and grit, and Meiriki showed the traits. Built on quality and safe products, the company had adapted quickly to the market changes, underpinned by its customer-centric commitment and sustainable profitability vision.
Despite the crisis, Meiriki has managed to expand its customer base and thrive in its 26th anniversary.
Quality over Quantity
Carrying about 24 products in 3 key different categories, namely Daily Healthcare, Specific Target and Slimming & Beauty, Meiriki conceived and developed each and every product with passion, from the debut Bilberry Extract imported from Japan, to the probiotic series manufactured by first-rate GMP-certified plants in Sweden.
Joanne Cheung, Managing Director of Meiriki Japan and President of the Hong Kong Health Food Association said, “Our patented Reuteri Probiotics is a registered pharmaceutical product governed by the Department of Health. A number of private hospitals have procured the drug to prescribe for patients with stomach and gut issues.”
Meiriki's Plantinum DHA scored the highest in a test on fish oil supplements conducted by HK Consumer Council last year, among 25 different branded fish oils samples, recognizing its efficacy with rich omega-3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA content per capsule.
“By combining multiple ingredients with high intensity, we extend the breadth and depth of our products’ efficacy to address the holistic health issues of today’s city people. Our products normally run through 9 quality assurance and test processes before they are put on shelf, from the ingredients to the production lines, and the multiple safety tests in Japan and HK laboratories to ensure international standards are met. The reputation precedes us among our customers.”
Digital Certificate Adds Confidence
Meiriki is going to launch new products covering hair loss treatment, metabolic syndrome prevention and diabetes control, addressing the aging development of the society in future. Joanne revealed GS1 HK’s 1QR will be added on products’ packaging to enable display of certifications and boost buyers’ confidence. This also aligns with consumers’ scanning habit: Scan a code, search for online information like discounts, point-of-sales, traceability information etc., before making an informed buying decision easily.
Changing Strategy for China and HK Markets
Before the COVID hit, Meiriki was swarmed with orders from both mainland China and HK customers in retail, the disruptions had them changed quickly to expand online channels like Tmall, at the same time exploiting new local customers like the silver-haired, maternal and infants market.
“In Hong Kong, we have our own e-shop, retail space in Causeway Bay, merchandise in Watsons and showcases in residential area to
promote and sell products. With selected channels, our team of professionals like nutritionist can understand the customers condition and diet first, before providing appropriate product and personalised healthcare advice.”
“For China, new healthcare products usually involve lengthy registration process and high cost, so we take advantage of the established e-commerce platform known for selling authentic goods. Thanks to our decade-long commitment to quality that builds up word-of-mouth, our overall sales had remained intact during the COVID period. On the day the China-HK borders reopened with no travel restriction, I was excited to know some Chinese customers came all the way to our retail shop to make bulk purchase.”
Commending the GS1 HK events like seminar and workshop, Joanne said they provide excellent opportunity for networking, industry exchange and market intelligence. “I learnt so much from my industry peer who shared about smart operations and other business strategies from the previous GS1 HK Summit. I’d definitely encourage other companies to join and learn.”
Sustainable Business of Healthy Growth
The interview took place on Meiriki’s VIP Member Day, an energetic lady with grey hair acknowledged herself a loyal customer of 20+ years, who often takes part in the company’s volunteering works. Joanne explained, “We believe transactional relationship cannot last, so we go beyond products and think of what they need. Besides health talks and workshops, we organise activities good for body and mind, offering holistic care for customers. Their attachment to our brand is strong because we go through the experiences and moments together.”
Committed to philanthropy and sustainability, Meiriki not only arranges volunteering works for the underprivileged, but also insists on sustainable business practices and traceability across its supply chain, from raw material supply, R&D, production to recycling. “Our algae calcium in ‘CaEasy’ belongs to sustainable production, for example, and the annual mining volume will not exceed 0.03% to maintain the marine ecological balance. Meanwhile, we would reduce the use of palm oil on one product, while use biodegradable plastic packaging for the other. We also encourage our consumers to return used bottles/ packaging. 'Recycling contest' among staff are organised every year, and the staff who have collected and recycled the most number of packagings would be rewarded of some artistic décor made of reused materials. I think it’s great to help the environment and bond our staff.”
Talents are True Asset
Joanne admitted the severe talent drain in HK is putting pressure on every industry, which Meiriki feels obliged to help. “Meiriki Summer College’ has been offering 40-50 internship positions every year for nutritionist, R&D support, health consultant to students, aiming to nurture local talents. We also place our staff benefits our priority, staying true to the work-life-balance motif to ensure staff are valued and happy.”
Chris Mok, General Manager of Meiriki Japan, has been with the company for over 20 years, working her ways from supporting staff to the management team. “The company provides impeccable coaching and opportunities for me to try different positions and unlocks my potentials. Outstanding staff will receive appropriate rewards and promotion, and this feels like a loving big family to me.”