Suku pairs international expansion with DTC

Pursuing growth, the supplement brand has begun an aggressive digital push while also entering the Chinese market.

Canadian supplement brand Suku Vitamins, known for its plant-based, sugar alcohol-free chewable vitamins, is launching internationally, while also pushing more aggressively into the direct-to-consumer (DTC) market.

Suku, which was founded in 2019, anticipates having close to $10 million in Canadian sales by the end of the year. It has primarily focused on retail sales in brick-and-mortar stores, with its spend focused on “coming out with various innovative, functional gummies” instead of marketing, says Alexandra Azouri, the company’s co-founder and vice president.

“Suku felt their clean gummies had to be experienced and appreciated in person,” adds Jeff Burnett, head of growth and strategy at Abacus Growth Agency, which is helping Suku elevate and develop its DTC and digital brand strategies. “People tried their products and loved them. Suku grew organically through word of mouth.”

However, the brand is pursuing further growth, hence the move into the international market. Suku soft launched on retail shelves in China on June 2 and has since been made available for purchase on Tmall, the largest business-to-consumer retail platform in Asia.

It is also hoping to further expand its reach with a direct-to-consumer play in Canada.

“The digital landscape and DTC specifically offer such powerful vehicles to truly support consumers, listen to them and communicate. There are many people who are looking for clean and sugar-free vitamins and don’t know we exist,” says Azouri. “We understood the ability, opportunity and importance of a one-to-one conversation with consumers and we wanted to continue to invest even more of our efforts directly.”

To support its DTC push, Abacus has developed a mobile-first digital marketing strategy “that focuses on building their online marketing foundation to add fuel to their growing sales,” says Burnett.

The strategy will focus on growing Suku’s footprint in both paid social and search to raise brand awareness and, ultimately, increase their market share in the health and wellness sector.

“Suku realizes people are on their phones constantly, especially since the pandemic, as it was the only way to keep in touch with friends and family,” Burnett adds. “They figured this would be the ideal way to reach them.”