Stores and kiosks selling jamu or herbal products are commonly found in shopping malls and hypermarkets in Malaysia. They sell beauty products, health foods and nutritional supplements. These products are mainly produced by local companies with Malay Muslim consumers as their key target.
What interest me most about the jamu kiosks are their ready-to-drink functional beverages.
Jamu shop inside Spectrum Ampang Shopping Mall
Magnetic Aura Honey Water
Here we have a honey water product called Magnetic Aura. According to the company, “Magnetic Aura helps balancing positive and negative charges in your body hence improving blood circulation and stimulating oxygen and nutrients to body cells.” The product taps into the magnet therapy, magnetic therapy, or magnotherapy practice involving the use of static magnetic fields.
The sugar-free water comes with the tagline “connecting people to the creator.” The key ingredients are Zam Zam water, honey, saffron, bee pollen and alkaline water.
Raudah Energy Drinks
Raudah Energy Drink 7+1 by Serai Mas Herbs Trading is made from hawthorn (goji) extract, raisin, date and stevia. It claims to be high in antioxidant, helps to reduce the body’s acidity, improves beauty, balances the body temperature and provides the necessary minerals. There is a religious element to this product as it helps to protect yourself and your family from spirits (makhluk halus).
D’Herbs Mayshur is a honey-based health drink, the first to contain sunnah diet foods and high-quality ingredients such as habbatus sauda, saffron, bird’s nest, collagen, stevia and ginkgo biloba and reserve osmosis water.
Kiranti Sehat Datang Bulan regulates menstruation and alleviates the problems related to it. This beverage is imported from Indonesia and is made by OT Group. This healthy traditional drink is made from curcuma (curcuma domesticae), rhizome and others native ingredients.
Kasih66 Air Zam Zam
The Zam Zam water comes from a well located within the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, which makes this water super premium. Prophet Mohammed once said the water has healing effects and this makes Zam Zam water sought after by Muslims worldwide.
Air Minuman Anugerah
This bottled water has been blessed with recitals from the Quranic scriptures. Not does the maker claims the water is good for health, it can also improve the level of energy, prevent oneself from being harrassed by spirits and help to ensure the children who drink it stay calm.
Jamu shop opposite Spectrum Ampang Shopping Mall
Qu Puteh & Pamoga
Vida Beauty introduced the ready-to-drink version of its Qu Puteh collagen drink and Pamoga health drink in can in 2016. The product’s main ingredients are distilled water, sugar, honey, collagen powder (fish), preservative, colour, flavour and acidity regulator.
The 240ml Qu Puteh has 46kcal per 100ml, 11.6g of carbohydrate per 100ml and 9.7g per 100ml of total sugar.
Cap Tiga Segi Cooling Water
The Cap Tiga Segi Air Minuman Pencegah Keanasan Badan by KNK Beverage Industry has the key function of cooling down the body. The functional water provides relief to internal body heat.
Interestingly, most of the cooling water sold in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia feature the image of the rhinoceros. The reason why rhinoceros is featured on the packaging is because cooling water is traditionally made using the horn from the rhinoceros. In traditional Chinese medicine, the horn is associated with ‘cooling’ properties. Nowadays, cooling water is made from gypsum fibrosum, a type of plaster stone containing calcium sulphate, which also has the same cooling properties.
Dato’ Ustaz Mohd Kazim Elias is a popular independent writer, lecturer and Islamic consultant from Malaysia. He is also known for formulating the Intisyam range, which claims to cure illnesses by using traditional herbs and sunnah food. The Intisyam water is made from honey and saffron.
What Mini Me thinks
The functional drinks sold in jamu stalls and kiosks have a very clear target audience – Malay Muslim consumers. As such, the ingredients tend to be associated with sunnah foods such as honey, dates, habbatus sauda and saffron as well as traditional herbs from Malaysia/Indonesia.
The religiosity element cannot be separated from the functional drinks. Some of the products are promoted by religious leaders-turned-entrepreneurs and others have evolved into the spiritual realm promising to ward off evil spirits or calm the mind. This category is not a territory easily penetrated by mainstream FMCG companies.