US – Infant-nutrition manufacturer Bubs Australia has expressed confidence in profiting more in the US market once approved by the US regulator to supply products there on a permanent basis.
Revealing the importance of the US market to Bubs Australia, executive chairman Dennis Lin said: “In the space of just two to three months we are now in 6,000 retail stores across the US, that’s three times bigger than our current retail store footprint in Australia. And I still believe we have a long way to go in the US.”
Since gaining the US Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval, Bubs Australia has delivered 800,000 tins across 42 states to retailers including Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons, Safeway, and Target. It has also recently won listings in 500 Whole Foods Market stores.
Lin suggested the company’s ability to act quickly when the FDA sent out its distress call to international infant-formula companies has stood it in good stead.
Bubs Australia noted its performance in China was aided by its strategic partnership with Corporate Daigou and the “successful launch” of its Bubs Supreme product there.
The impressive performance, which represents 55% of the company’s sales, helped to underpin record sales for the year with revenue more than doubling to AUD89.3m (US$61.1m).
EBITDA was AUD4.8m compared to a loss of AUD29.8m the year before, becoming the first time Bubs Australia has delivered an underlying profit.
The new entrant in the US infant formula market now has trust it will expand its products more in the country after the FDA grants it a permanent permit, which Bubs said its talks with the regulator have been positive.
According to CEO Kristy Carr, shelves are still understocked and there is a strong demand for new business.
He added: “Through weekly conversations with the FDA, management can speak with some conviction on the long-term viability of market access because they have made it very clear and publicly announced the pathway for companies to continue to supply infant formula beyond the November initial discretionary date.”
Next month, FDA will issue further guidance on how companies can continue supplying formula beyond November, to alleviate any future shortages in this important commodity.
The government of the US hopes new entrants will reduce the concentration in the baby formula market, where Abbott and Reckitt Benckiser hold a combined 80% share.
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