Celsius Holdings has commenced distribution of its fitness drinks brand into China through privately-held wholesale distributor Qifeng Food Technology (Beijing).

Initial distribution in September covered select channels across three Tier-1 cities including Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, in addition to more than 30 others across 14 provinces.

This initial launch featured Sparkling Cola and Raspberry Acai Green Tea varieties.

Widespread distribution will commence in 2018 through Qifeng Food’s network of more than 500 distributors.

Celsius Holdings interim CEO and chief financial officer John Fieldly said: “The Asia market is one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing markets, and our success there is a critically important next step in the global growth of our business.

“Widespread distribution will commence in 2018 through Qifeng Food’s network of more than 500 distributors.”

“The initial distribution is providing us with invaluable market intelligence and consumer response data, which enables us to maximise our placements with the full launch. The initial consumer response has been overwhelmingly positive and signals our plans for broader product distribution in China are in-line with market opportunities.

“Through specific and targeted marketing efforts, we are engaging with consumers across a range of mediums to build excitement and accurately gauge demand, as we prudently scale our operations.”

“The opportunity to bring a disruptive, proprietary formula to the energy drink category in China is the size of the market.  Taking any market share from one of the larger, global players would mean significant volume and add to the brand growth on a global basis.”

Celsius Holdings general manager for Asia Ronnie Char said: “Brand awareness continues to increase following our successful launch in Hong Kong this past July, affirming both our approach to market entry, and consumers’ desire for innovative, healthy energy drink alternatives.

“In addition to the 700 plus points of distribution throughout modern trade channels in Hong Kong and Macau, CELSIUS is also available through specialty channels such as health clubs, golf driving ranges, and sports apparel outlets, connecting the brand with our consumers across different lifestyles and occasions.

“By executing a multi-faceted, comprehensive marketing and social media strategy, we are meeting consumers exactly where they are to educate them about the unique benefits of Celsius and developing brand intimacy at both the local and national levels across Asia.”