AS its household cleaning products continue to dominate market share in the domestic market, China remains the biggest target for Ormeau-based manufacturer OzKleen.
CEO Tom Quinn says pricing remains the biggest challenge, with China’s mass consumer market not prepared to pay the premium price for the industry leading, environmentally-friendly products.
“We are in around 50 high-end supermarkets in Shanghai and we intend to replicate that in Beijing, but we have to develop products specifically for the Chinese market,” he says.
“There is still demand for the premium products in China from the high-end, but we are in the early stages of development of a lower-cost product line that will appeal more to the mass market. China is very much a work-in-progress, but we’re making significant in-roads. We’re also in the early stages of talks with Korea.”
Using the analogy of Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus, Quinn says the cheaper product line will be sold under a different brand to eliminate the risk of damaging the ‘quality first’ reputation of OzKleen’s marquee products.
Export operations into New Zealand remain strong, but with the United Kingdom economy dampening OzKleen’s Northern Hemisphere profits, Quinn says he is ‘very lucky’ the company decided against a stronger push into Europe two years ago.
The Mould Power product achieved 66 per cent sales growth in Coles and independent supermarkets and despite being OzKleen’s oldest and best-known product, Shower Power also achieved 25 per cent supermarket sales growth.
Quinn says the latter has become so dominant that many consumers refer to ‘shower power’ as a type of product instead of a brand, something Quinn says is something ‘you always dream about’.
“There is no time for us to rest on our laurels though. The market is very competitive and we’ve got to be at the forefront of innovation and new product development,” he says.
“We’ve got some exciting new products in the very early planning stages and a new range of oven wipes has just hit the shelves.”
While Quinn would not disclose exact revenues, he says the figure is ‘well into the tens of millions’.
Top Companies 2011 Profile: OzKleen Asia Pacific
CEO: Tom Quinn
Revenue ’10: Undisclosed
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