Celsius Holdings Inc., Boca Raton, Fla., manufacturer of the dietary supplement brand CELSIUS, announced an expansion in the Asian market in partnership with the Hong Kong-based A.S. Watson Group (ASW).

As the largest international health and beauty retail group in Asia and Europe, ASW initially will distribute CELSIUS in Hong Kong and Macau, with expansion targeted for its extensive retail network, the company says. The agreement comes just more than one year since CELSIUS welcomed an investment of $15.95 million led by Hong Kong-based Horizons Ventures, the company says. The retail arm of CK Hutchison Holdings under Li Ka-Shing, ASW has more than 3 billion consumers and 13 retail brands with broad geographic presence, it adds.

"The energy drink category has grown steadily in the Chinese market in recent years, with reports showing sales to retailers volume growth of 18 percent in 2015 alone," said Gerry David, president and chief executive officer of Celsius Holdings Inc., in a statement. "ASW produces its own bottled and bulk packaging distilled water for over 110 years for retail, office and domestic supplies; they also operate the world's largest distilled water plant.

“Their market leadership has been further enhanced by their expansion into Mainland China, and their distribution of leading mineral water brands like Pierval, Spa and San Benedetto,” he continued. “In 2005, they launched another innovation — Watsons Iso-tone, a sports drink designed to replenish fluids and dietary fiber lost by the body due to perspiration. We are excited and looking forward to this new strategic partnership."

Michelle Chan, managing director of A.S. Watson Industries, added: "Energy and weight loss products which target the health-conscious segment have seen tremendous growth in China in recent years. CELSIUS offers a scientifically proven, high performance energy drink, which also provides unique benefits of calorie reduction and fat-burning technology attributed to a proprietary blend of ingredients. These benefits, backed by CELSIUS' numerous clinical studies, will introduce an enticing product category that we know our consumers will be drawn to."