Horlicks Chocolate set to create ripples

HORLICKS has always been a familiar household name, with many Malaysians growing up with the brand.

Having sustained the brand over the last 50 years, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Sdn Bhd (GSK), the manufacturer of Horlicks in Malaysia, is committed to turning the malt drink into the most trusted and preferred brand in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG)/health drink segment.

“We are the second biggest brand in this category. We have a strong presence within the Malaysian household,” says managing director Katherine Chen.

Earlier this week, GSK launched a new Horlicks product: Horlicks Chocolate, which contains 23 vital nutrients that help support overall growth and development.

“We are quite confident that this product will be well-received by both adults and children as it is power packed with 23 nutrients and has a delicious chocolate taste. It’ll give the brand and the company robust growth,” she tells StarBizWeek after the launch of Horlicks Chocolate.

With the launch, GSK is optimistic of growing its market share within the FMCG/health drink segment. “We want more Malaysian consumers to enjoy this product, which can also help to fill their nutrition gap and especially for children who are still growing,” Chen says.

The company is planning to go all out in its promotional campaign for Horlicks Chocolate. Besides launching the television commercial for the product, GSK will be kick-starting a series of roadshows to engage consumers.

“We will conduct on-ground events at eight locations in shopping malls across Peninsular Malaysia to educate the consumers on hidden hunger (which refers to a nutritional deficiency caused by lack of balance in a normal diet) and how Horlicks can help them,” says Chen.

With the innovation of Horlicks Chocolate, which contains 23 nutrients including calcium, protein, multivitamins and minerals, GSK is providing an easy solution to parents in ensuring that their children get sufficient nutrients.

The company believes it can provide a vehicle for parents to give their kids proper nutrition.

GSK also plans to engage consumers via the Horlicks Facebook page, which it plans to establish soon.

Chen says that as the bulk of its consumers comprise children and GSK is running a school programme, which will help grow the segment.

The children will be able to participate in fun games and get to sample the product from the Horlicks Mobile Truck. Over the next three months, Horlicks Chocolate will be visiting 170 schools throughout the peninsula.

GSK will continue leveraging on its strengths in science and research and development (R&D) to ensure optimum quality in its products.

“With any product we develop we will go through an extensive journey to make sure it is high in quality,” says Chen.

She adds that the company has an advantage in its strong background in science and R&D through its pharmaceutical arm.

GSK is one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. It always ensures its products are scientifically proven and caters to the needs of its consumers.

Another strength of the company, Chen adds, is the fact that it is very consumer driven. “We understand their needs, lifestyle and diet habits and make sure we provide sufficient nutrition to supplement their daily dietary requirements,” she says in reference to Horlicks Chocolate.

Although in the FMCG industry has been experiencing a slowdown since last year, GSK is confident the product will do well.

“Even when times are a bit slow, mothers don’t really stinge on products for their children. We believe the nutrition platform is attractive to mothers,” she adds.

In terms of pricing, the company is trying to make Horlicks more accessible to consumers.

“We have a good product. And we will try our best to make it accessible to as many Malaysian consumers as possible through competitive pricing, so more people can enjoy our product and its benefits,” Chen says.

Malaysian consumers are moving towards being health conscious, says Chen. “They are looking at more healthy propositions in brands that can bring a lot of benefit to them. This is why we feel confident with Horlicks Chocolate, which has a superior nutrition profile. We are confident we can meet their needs to catch up with this trend,” she says.

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