Ildong Foodis, a milk powder company that suffered from a deficit in the aftermath of the low birth rate, is writing a reversal drama with 'eating protein'. In a situation where the food trend cycle is shortening and hot selling products are rare, it has grown “Himune” into a mega brand with annual sales of 100 billion won.
Ildong Foodis announced on Jan. 16 that the sales of its protein supplement 'Himune Protein Balance' exceeded 300 billion in three years after its launch. After posting sales of 30 billion won in the first year of its launch in 2020, it surpassed 105 billion won in 2021 and 165 billion won last year, maintaining the No. 1 position in the domestic protein market.
It is a remarkable achievement in a situation where food fashion cycles are as short as 6 months and as long as 1 year. Food companies release as many as 40 new products a year. But it is very rare to create a hit product that is consistently selected.
Most of the products that spread word of mouth through social network services (SNS) have a rapid increase in sales in a short period of time. But the trend of consumer interest is intensifying. The company believes that Himune will establish itself as a long-lived brand and has set an aggressive goal of achieving 200 billion won in sales this year.
Himune is a filial brand that revived Ildong Foodis, which was on decline. Ildong Foodis sales began to decline in 2016 and recorded an operating loss from 2017 to 2019.
It introduced Korea's first comprehensive baby food and led the infant and toddler food market, but was greatly affected by the low birth rate. After three years of development, Himune turned a milk powder company into the No. 1 protein company. Ildong Foodis' sales last year are estimated to have increased 35% year-on-year to 300 billion won.
Himune was born with the insistence of Chairman Lee Keum-ki, "I will make the protein I want to eat." Lee, who joined Ildong Pharmaceutical as a regular employee and released hit products such as 'Aronamin' one after another, was rapidly promoted and became the CEO. Chairman Lee paid attention to 'adults who manage health' while watching the market.
In particular, he anticipated that the market for protein foods that help manage health and targets the middle-aged will grow. It was also a concern of Chairman Lee, who was in his nineties. Goat milk is easily excreted from the body if it did not digested well. In this regard, Ildong created a protein product through manufacturing know-how. As the domestic protein food market grew more than fourfold in four years from 81.3 billion won to 336.4 billion won in 2021, sales of Himune also skyrocketed.
Protein food was treated as a 'supplement for health people.' But after Covid 19, as daily health care has emerged as one of the consumer trends, many young people are dieting and older people are eating protein separately for the purpose of muscle building.
Protein foods are being released in the form of beverages that can be easily consumed as well as in the form of powder to be mixed with water. Himune also offers a variety of products in the form of powders and beverages.
In addition, it has expanded its product line by reflecting consumer demand according to age, gender, and lifestyle, such as 'Junior Milk' for growing children, '&Body' for women who want to control body fat, and 'Pro Active' for men who are fitness enthusiasts.
The case of 'Himune Protein Balance Active (250ml)', which is a popular drink for office workers, contains 20g of protein. It is equivalent to the protein of 3.6 eggs, chicken breast 87g.
The daily protein intake recommended by the Korean Nutritionists Association is 1g per kg of body weight, and through this, you can supplement protein that is not adequately consumed in a daily diet.
An official from Ildong Foodis said, "By strengthening Himune's product power and expanding its product lineup, we will continue to work harder for public health and repay as a company responsible for lifelong health."