【Start-up】New approach to Chinese herbal drinks

With constantly increasing attention to a balanced living lifestyle, Chinese herbal drinks are raising in Hong Kong with a modern taste. Built on the foundation of traditional Chinese medicine principles, those fusion drinking products help promote the over-2500-years cultural heritage to the youngsters through a stylish approach.

CheckCheckCin and Seed Softdrinks are two recent examples that received warm responses from the market.

CheckCheckCin, founded by registered Chinese medicine practitioner Cinci Leung, who believed that it is more effective in preventing ailments if everyone consumes food based on their own physical condition.

The herbal drinks seller has four branches after one year of operation, the growth seems a success in the contemporary approach of Chinese medicine, Leung said. She declined to reveal the firm's revenue and net profit.

CheckCheckCin launched four branches in one year, including Sheung Wan, Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui, and Taikoo Shing.

Herbal drinks and healing tea from CheckCheckCin are used as a regimen to the general public and cannot replace medicine, Leung said. “Chinese Medicine emphasizes on the overall picture of people’s body, and it is important to find a treatment course based on symptoms and facts,” she said.

It is also important to choose the drinks or products based on one’s body constitution and symptoms. That is why she keeps providing medical consultations.

The general impression of Chinese Medicine to the public is bitter and conventional. Breaking these stereotypes on Chinese Medicine is one of the main challenges of CheckCheckCin.

“Our main goal is to provide a healthy and delicious drinks which based on the essentials of traditional Chinese medicine. We have to educate our customers about the ingredients and their respective benefits... we have already received positive market response”, Leung said.

Regarding the differences between traditional and modern Chinese Medicine clinics, Leung thinks it is not valid to compare them since all Chinese Medicine practitioners are trained based on the same underlying principles. “As long as we can attract more people’s attention and awareness to benefit of traditional Chinese Medicine, it is beneficial to everyone”, said Leung.

CheckCheckCin will further promote healthy living and illness prevention in the future. “We will continue to strive to identify products and drinks that are suitable for the general public to provide additional wellness options”, Leung added.

Rock Chau runs Seed Softdrinks Limited, a sole proprietorship herbal drinks manufacturer. He is also a pioneer in the field of herbal soft drinks in Hong Kong.

“Herbal drinks can represent Hong Kong while no one tries to mix them up with soft drinks before. This is an innovative idea to do so”, said Chau. 

Chau said that his business is to develop a unique product that can pleasantly represent Hong Kong, while herbal drinks are just a stepping stone to achieve it. He would like to share the passion and energy with all Hong Kong people through his products.

Targeting on the younger generation, Chau would like to grab the young’s awareness of traditional Chinese culture by using a casual and trendy method. “I hope to attract the youngsters' attention to the most valuable and typical things which can represent our city," Chau noted.

Furthermore, Chau said that the number of partners keeps on escalating. Customers can now purchase Seed Softdrinks’ products not only from online shops, but also from physical stores. It seems a feasible solution to develop herbal drinks in this inventive way. He stated that the business is still under the breakeven point, no further financial details were disclosed.

The research and development progress of the business would be one of the considerable challenges to Chau. “Not every kind of herbal tea can be transformed into a soft drink. Like 24 Flavor, it is too medical that I would not go for it," Chau said.

He added that, “Generally speaking, all bottle drinks are too sweet to customers. It would be a great challenge to strike for a balance."

In terms of the business outlook, Chau does not have a comprehensive blueprint yet. “The spectrum of beverages in Hong Kong is so wide. The only thing that I can do is to try my best to improve my products as the market competition is fierce", he mentioned.

《The Young Financial Post 新報人財經》



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