• Kanguru Asia Pacific president
    Kanguru Asia Pacific president

Red Kangaroo Beverages has announced a deal with the Korean manufacturing and distribution company Binggrae. It will see its functional beverage Kanguru stocked in 24,000 South Korean stores.

Red Kangaroo Beverages was established by Dr David Kitchen, a surgeon and ophthalmologist. He launched Kanguru domestically two years ago and it is stocked in independent supermarkets, convenience and health food stores around Australia. Kitchen said it is Australia’s first locally owned and manufactured performance drinks, with no added sugar.

Kitchen said he tested almost 2000 versions of the drink before striking the right formula. It contains five botanicals: Korean Red Ginseng, Yerba Mate, Guarana, Schisandra and Green Tea. It has 100 per cent natural caffeine derived from the botanicals, all-natural flavours and no sugar.

Kitchen said there are 13 fundamental ingredients in Kanguru that work to trigger the body’s natural energy source as well as a balanced set of vitamins including: B1(Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin) B3, (Niacin), B5 (Pantothenic Acid), B6 (Pyridoxine) and B12 (Cyanocobalamin).

He sees Kanguru as having a great fit in the Korean market due to botanicals having a long history and respect in Korean culture.

Kanguru Asia Pacific president
Kanguru Asia Pacific president

The company’s Asia Pacific region president David Westall said: “Korean culture has a natural, holistic approach with centuries of messaging about natural botanicals transcended from one generation to the next, the long-term deal we’ve signed with Binggrae is testament to the confidence around our product talking to this audience.”

Vice president of Binggrae’s chilled food business division, Choi Kang Hoon said the company was pleased to be bringing Kanguru to South Korea. “This product is a welcome’s addition to our beverage range due to its health benefits and scientific, evidence-based formulation – it is completely on trend for this market,” he said.

Westall said: “Binggrae has the number one selling beverage item in South Korean convenience stores, a banana milk drink. In addition, it also has the highest share of chilled food in convenience stores across the country.”

Red Kangaroo will launch in South Korea with the original flavour and expects new flavours to be added over the coming 12-18 months.

Over the next three weeks Kanguru will distribute approximately 300,000 250ml cans to 20,000 convenience chain stores. In five weeks, sales are expected to exceed $500,000 with the beverage sold in 24,000 convenience stores including the top three chains 7Eleven, GS25 and EMart24.

“Within five weeks from launch we will be in more than half of all convenience stores in South Korea, which is an amazing achievement for an independent beverage like ours,” Westall said

Australian manufacturers will continue to make Kanguru for the Australian market and remain the global hub for innovation. But the technology, equipment, IP and scientific process have also been exported to South Korea, with all profits used to further expand Kanguru’s market penetration.

“The priority was to ensure our product and formulation remains unaltered to maintain the quality and benefits of Kanguru. We worked for two years to find the right manufacturing partner with the capabilities to replicate our complex manufacturing processes so that the product is completely unchanged in this market,” Westall said.

“Kanguru is manufactured using a unique infusion process that is the first of its kind in the world, and the first and only Australian-made botanical infusion drink.

“We are thrilled to be entering into the South Korean market, knowing they lead the way with many trends, and we are honoured that they are backing an Australian innovation,” Westall said.

Growth on home soil

“The Australian retail footprint has grown significantly over the past year, with the number of stores increasing by 178% between the first quarter of 2019 and the same time this year. Meanwhile, the total revenue from sales on Amazon Australia is ten times stronger than the same time last year and consistently amongst the leading energy drink sales.

“This coincides with the January launch of our first new flavour – Mixed Berry & Pomegranate which is performing brilliantly – with customer sales consistent with the original flavour already,” Westall said.

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