On June 6, 2019, Chinese low-carb beverage giant Genki Forest changed the name of the company which it founded last year to “Hokkai Pastures (Beijing) Dairy Products Co.”(北海牧场（北京）有限公司）, according to the Beijing Business Daily.
At the same time, Hokkai Pastures brand-related yogurt began to be sold on major e-commerce platforms in China. According to Genki Forest’s consistent brand strategy, although this new brand was funded entirely by the Chinese, it still chosed the packaging and positioning with Japanese style.
Its Chinese name is “北海牧场” (literal translation: North Sea Pastures), but its English name is Hokkai Pastures, which refers to the Japanese geographical name Hokkaido despite they have very little relation.
This marketing strategy of disguising itself as a Japanese brand has been controversial but has not affected sales of the products.
In the JD.com store of Hokkai Pastures, we can see that the main promotion of the brand is “Hokkaido 3.1 sugar-free yogurt”. The yogurt is in line with Genki Forest’s consistent health product positioning, using erythritol instead of sucrose to reduce calories. The number “3.1” in the name refers to the protein content, which means 3.1 times higher than the Chinese yogurt’s relevant national standards, whcih is 7.2g protein per 100g.
The brand currently sells another prodect called “Daily Cleanse”, which contains sugar, but with mango, kale, and other ingredients. The name “cleanse” refers to a Chinese concept of health care that involves intaking specific foods to promote digestive health.
In addition, there are two other series, which are thicker and lighter in taste.
In recent years, low-calorie drinks have caused a frenzy in China’s first-tier cities. Surprisingly, compared with Sprite Zero and Coke No Sugar, the new Chinese health drink brand represented by Genki Forest is more popular among young consumers.
See Also: What is Genki Forest?
As we’ve mentioned before in brief history of beverages in China, in the last few years, young people in China prefer those drinks that use edible essences and have a light taste when buying low-calorie beverages. Low-calorie drinks that try to imitate the taste of traditional soft drinks with large amounts of sugar substitutes are not popular in China as they are in Western market.
Genki Forest is a leader in this domain, and after gaining a strong foothold in the online market last year, it’s trying to expand its business to dairy and functional drinks.