Singapore Volume 11

4 2 | S U P E R B R A N D S V O L U M E X I MARKET When it comes to health and wellness, Hockhua Tonic Singapore (‘Hockhua’) stands out as a leader in the import, distribution, production, and cultivation of specialised traditional Chinese medicine (‘TCM’) products. The company has successfully developed greater awareness and promoted the value of alternative therapies by providing quality products at affordable prices. The product and price ranges are so broad that consumers include everyone from the average student to the high-income businessman. Hockhua’s main products include Chinese herbs such as ginseng and cordyceps, bird’s nest, abalone, dried seafood, manuka honey, herbal tea, red wine, as well as health supplements. Its target market includes those who, on average, are more health-conscious and want a better quality of life for themselves and their loved ones. Judging by the turnover of the last financial year, which totalled S$140 million, the support from the community continues to demonstrate positive growth. ACHIEVEMENTS One of the biggest accolades a company can receive is the attainment of Superbrands status, and this is the 12th consecutive year Hockhua has reached that pinnacle. It also won the Top 100 Singapore Excellence Award in 2012 and was conferred a Sliver Award, from the AVA (renamed as Singapore Food Agency), for recognising 10 consecutive years of achieving Grade ‘A’ status for excellence in food hygiene, sanitation and processing in 2018. In 2019 Hockhua received the recognition from “Singapore Quality Class” for the commendable performance in business excellence. Hockhua was the first company in Singapore to set up a Chinese medical hall that specialised in selling ginseng and bird’s nest. It also helped change the perception of Chinese medical halls to be more than a Chinese Practitioner dispensing herbs. Since its inception, Hockhua has added more than a thousand different product varieties in its outlets, and in 1991, it became the first medical hall in Singapore to start a point accumulation system. As a result, customers earn points based on purchases, and those points can be redeemed for gift items at the end of the year. The rewards programme has recorded over 480,000 registered members in Singapore and Malaysia. HISTORY Hockhua was founded by Mr Chan Tiong Cheng in 1986. It started as a small business, with his mother Madam Lee Ang Cho, importing American Ginseng from Canada. The business expanded in 1987 to a wholesale company, distributing the same product with three other partners. As the business grew, and the demand increased for traditional Chinese health foods, they set up Hockhua Ginseng Birdsnest Trading Enterprise in 1989 and began to import quality bird’s nest for its first retail shop in Hougang. The popularity of the first outlet led to further expansion and by 1992, Hockhua was already a comprehensive traditional health food chain. The expansion of the retail chain prompted the company’s management to venture into direct import and set up SHW Trading Enterprise in 1996. This enabled the company to cut operational costs, maintain lower retail prices, and achieve greater quality control. In 2000, it began to upgrade and improve the quality of its imports by establishing seven different subsidiary companies, each specialising in one of its major products, which included ginseng, bird’s nest, Chinese herbs, agri-food, seafood, traditional medicine and wines. At the same time, Oriental Herbal Tea opened its first store. In 2003, Hockhua Holdings moved to its present headquarters at Ang Mo Kio Industrial Park and centralised its administration and operations to increase productivity and professionalism. It also launched several home label products to promote the recognition of the company’s brand. The company also restructured a year later, and Hockhua Ginseng Birdnest Trading Enterprise was renamed Hockhua Tonic Pte Ltd, to reflect the scope of its business more accurately. In 2007, the company decided to expand its business to Malaysia and opened its first two retail outlets in Kuala Lumpur. By then, Hockhua owned seven major import and distribution firms and was operating three food and pharmaceutical manufacturing plants in Singapore, with a total floor area of 13,000 sqm. By 2009, the company’s network had expanded to 46 retail shops and 15 herbal tea stores in Singapore, in addition to 7 outlets in Malaysia. PRODUCT Hockhua offers a range of over 1,000 different TCM products, health foods, supplements and beverages for healthy living. Its three-star products are Ginseng, Bird’s Nest (Golden Cow) and Abalone (Tiger King). Since 2003, Hockhua has been cultivating its own ginseng with partners in Ontario, Canada, and in Jilin Province, China. The factories strictly adhere to good manufacturing practices, while the brand continues its aim to provide better health, and better quality of life, at affordable prices. H.W.