On Friday, Li Guoxun, Vice President of sparkling water brand Genki Forest, talked about the company’s recent business operations, marking the first time that the brand disclosed performance data to the public.
Li said that the revenue of the company in 2021 was 2.6 times that in 2020. Tang Binsen, founder of Genki Forest, had previously mentioned at the China Beverage Health Consumption Forum that Genki Forest’s revenue in 2020 was 2.7 billion yuan ($423.8 million), which means its revenue in 2021 is about 7.02 billion yuan. In addition, in the first quarter of 2022, its revenue increased by 50% year-on-year.
In 2019, Genki Forest began to build its own factory which also marked the transformation from light asset mode to heavy asset mode. The first factory was located in Chuzhou, Anhui Province, and was put into production in 2020. In 2021, the company owned 6 self-built factories across the country.
Li Guoxun said that during the rapid development in the past few years, the company had encountered several pressures caused by a tight supply chain and production capabilities. Through its self-built factories and strict supply chain management system, the company has become much more flexible and been able to achieve a healthy growth rate.
Self-built factories are also regarded as the sign that Genki Forest is moving closer to a more traditional beverage enterprise structure. In 2021, the company cooperated with over 1,000 dealers, double that in 2020. Further, the number of offline terminals exceeded 1 million, covering more than 800 cities across the country. In the process of developing offline channels, it also found that in the rural markets, consumers’ acceptance of healthy and sugar-free products has grown.
Liu Zhen, who was in charge of Genki Forest’s overseas business operations, left the company in early March, which subsequently triggered speculation about the organizational restructuring and layoffs within the company.
Li Guoxun said on Friday that the number of employees in Genki Forest has increased from more than 2,000 at the beginning of last year to more than 8,000 now, which is bringing with it some organizational growth challenges. Li also noted that the company will slow down its expansion this year.
In terms of overseas business, Li said, “At present, affected by epidemic and slow shipping, it is difficult to break into overseas markets, but the goal of the company’s global strategy will not change.” In 2019, Genki Forest officially launched its overseas strategy, and is currently able to ship supplies to more than 40 countries.