The Healthy Life group of natural health food stores has taken the lead in Australia's organic and complementary medicine retailing. It now has wholesale and retail operations and 50 stores in the country and is opening new stores.

Healthy Life, Flannery's, and Oliver's Real Food are three major Australian organic and health food retailers that are expanding in Australia's AUD1.6 billion retail organic market. Former frontrunner About Life has sold two stores to Flannery's and is involved in a legal dispute with grocery giant Woolworths over the sale of its Double Bay, Sydney site.

In February 2017, Allegro Funds Management and a management buy-in team acquired a majority control stake in Healthy Life to partner with the existing shareholder, Eu Yan Sang, a Singapore manufacturer, distributor and retailer of traditional Chinese medicine in Asia to grow the Healthy Life business. Healthy Life was established in 1968.

Since then, Healthy Life has opened four new stores: Belrose, Sydney, which ranges over 10,000 organic and natural lines; Tooronga, Melbourne; and two stores-within-stores concepts at Wentworth Point IGA and Sans Souci Supabarn, both in Sydney in July 2018.

The opening of the Healthy Life at Tooronga Shopping Centre in Melbourne in May saw the store become the first to host Healthy Life's Next Big Thing sessions, which expands the retailer's Wellness Hub, created to start health conversations with customers, through presentations hosted by the company’s qualified practitioners.

"As the experts in natural health solutions, we’re always on the lookout for new, natural therapies to help our customers look and feel good from the inside out. From royal jelly and ginseng in the 70s to fish oil and evening primrose oil in the 90s, we’ve been leading the charge in the ‘next big thing’ in health and wellness for nearly 50 years and look forward to continuing the education process with our new Next Big Thing sessions,” Healthy Life chief marketing officer Simon Cheng said.

"We now have 45 company stores and five franchisees and intend to grow co-owned stores in high streets," Mr. Cheng said.

"Our stores range from smaller footprints to larger format stores like our King St, Sydney, store. Our store-in-store offerings are also larger than the standalone store footprints. Our plan is to continue growing the store network, including both standalone stores and store-in-store offerings. We have had a lot of interest from potential landlords."

Mr. Cheng said that Healthy Life is pleased with sales growth progress across all product categories over the last year. "Certified organic products have been growing in line with market growth," he added.

“The complementary medicines sector is booming in Australia - it’s a $4.7 billion dollar industry that is growing at over 25 percent annually and just as we have been for the past five decades, Healthy Life is at the forefront of that growth," Mr. Cheng said.

Healthy Life was also the first major health retailer to ban single-use plastic bags from its stores in 2017. An e-commerce site will be launched in the coming months.