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China Health Supplements Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Health Supplements market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

This report covers health supplement products that are certified with either a National Medical Licence Number (国药准字号) or as a Health Supplement Food (保健食品) when collating the market size. Among those with a National Medical Licence Number, only those products registered as OTC (over-the-counter) drugs are included in the market size, while those registered as prescription drugs are excluded.

The market segments include:

  • Vitamins – single vitamins and vitamin complexes (eg Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, Vitamin B complex).
  • Minerals – eg calcium, iron, zinc, selenium, magnesium.
  • Dietary supplements – including animal-based nutritional supplements (eg cod liver oil, and e-jiao), and plant-based nutritional supplements (eg garlic oil and spirulina tablets).

Products that are known for their nutritional value but are not processed into essence that is used in health supplements (eg bird’s nest in its original form) are excluded from market sizing.

What you need to know

The health supplement market maintained stable growth in 2018 and Mintel forecasts the market to grow at a value CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 9.7% over 2018-23. The aging population, demand for children’s supplements, and the emergence of online channels are contributing to the market’s growth.

Consumers have higher usage of health supplements compared to 2017. Among them, probiotic supplements are especially welcomed by parents to purchase for their kids. In terms of purchase channels, while offline channels, particularly drugstores/ pharmacies, are still dominating the market, online channels have shown more potential especially in reaching young consumers, due to the convenience and varieties of product choices.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Vicky Zhou, a leading analyst in the Wellness sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Parents have the intention to purchase health supplements for their children, especially probiotic supplements. Brands should develop a professional and international brand image to earn consumers’ trust, particularly since e-commerce is emerging. Enhancing product options and innovations is also important to attract consumers. Vicky Zhou
Health & Wellness Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this report
        • Subgroup Definitions (by Monthly Personal Income):
        • Executive Summary

            • The Market
              • Figure 1: Best- and worst-case forecast of total value sales of health supplement market, China, 2013-23
            • Companies and Brands
              • Figure 2: Market share of leading companies in health supplement market, China, 2016-17
            • The Consumer
              • Strong demand for probiotic supplements, especially for kids and young consumers
                • Figure 3: Health supplements purchased in the last 12 months, July 2018
              • More than half now buy online
                • Figure 4: Purchasing channel of health supplements in the last 12 months, July 2018
              • By-health and Amway have strong channel performance
                • Figure 5: Top 10 brands purchased in the last 12 months, by channel, July 2018
              • Getting products immediately weighs more than in-store experience
                • Figure 6: Offline shopping drivers, July 2018
              • Convenience and perceived low price drive consumers to shop online
                • Figure 7: Online shopping drivers, July 2018
              • Attitudes towards probiotic supplements, beauty supplements and brands origins.
                • Figure 8: Attitudes towards probiotic supplements, July 2018
                • Figure 9: Attitudes towards beauty supplements, July 2018
                • Figure 10: Attitudes towards brand origins, July 2018
              • What we think
              • Issues and Insights

                • Opportunity for probiotic supplements
                  • The facts
                    • The implications
                      • Figure 11: Example of probiotic supplements targeting seniors
                      • Figure 12: Example of probiotic supplements targeting young consumers in the US
                      • Figure 13: New beauty benefit functional claim of digestive & detoxifying treatments and vitamins & dietary Supplements launch, US, Japan and China, January 2017 – October 2018
                      • Figure 14: Examples of probiotic supplements targeting kids
                      • Figure 15: Example of probiotic supplements targeting on-the-go occasions, US
                    • The importance of online channels
                      • The facts
                        • The implications
                          • Figure 16: Keylid running through Yangzi River activity, China, 2018
                        • How can offline channels maintain consumers?
                          • The facts
                            • The implications
                              • Figure 17: Amway experience store, Beijing
                              • Figure 18: Infinitus AR and health detectors experience, China
                              • Figure 19: JD Supermarket nostalgic subway trains, China, 2018
                              • Figure 20: By-health health management program, China
                          • The Market – What you need to know

                            • Sustained growth in all segments
                              • Multi-party fertilisation of the market
                              • Market size and forecast

                                • Stable growth continues
                                  • Figure 21: Best- and worst-case forecast of total value sales of health supplement market, China, 2013-23
                              • Market Factors

                                • More aging population
                                  • Kids and pregnant women also driving demand
                                    • Sub-health issues driving adult market
                                      • Purchase of imported products made easier by cross-border e-commerce
                                        • Figure 22: Tmall Global Health Supplement Trace Program
                                      • Online platforms team up with pharmacies
                                        • Rectify direct-selling and marketing to bring more transparency
                                          • More standardised regulation of function claims
                                          • Market Segmentation

                                            • Dietary supplements lead the total market growth
                                              • Figure 23: Total value sales of health supplements, by segment, China, 2013-18 (est)
                                            • Vitamins
                                              • Figure 24: Best- and worst-case forecast of total value sales of vitamin market, China, 2013-23
                                            • Minerals
                                              • Figure 25: Best- and worst-case forecast of total value sales of mineral market, China, 2013-23
                                            • Dietary supplements
                                              • Figure 26: Best- and worst-case forecast of total value sales of dietary supplement market, China, 2013-23
                                          • Key Players – What you need to know

                                            • Fierce competition continues
                                              • Embracing online channels and experiences
                                              • Market share

                                                • Direct-selling dependent companies are losing share
                                                  • Fiercer competition with a long tail of small players
                                                    • Figure 27: Market share of leading companies in health supplement market, China, 2016-17
                                                  • Who’s doing well?
                                                    • What products sold more on e-commerce platforms?
                                                      • Figure 28: Top 10 items on domestic ecommerce platforms* (based on value sales), China, 2017
                                                      • Figure 29: Top 10 items on cross-border ecommerce platforms* (based on value sales), China, 2017
                                                  • Competitive Strategies

                                                    • Enhance online channels
                                                      • International brand image
                                                        • Cater to younger consumers
                                                          • Figure 30: 21 Super-Vita marketing
                                                      • Who’s Innovating?

                                                        • Bone, brain & nervous system are areas for growth
                                                          • Figure 31: New vitamin and dietary supplements launch, by functional claim, China, January 2017 - October 2018
                                                        • Capsules become more popular
                                                          • Figure 32: New vitamin and dietary supplements launch, by format type, China vs Global, January 2017 – October 2018
                                                        • More formats
                                                          • Figure 33: New health supplement launches with new format, UK and Vietnam, 2017-18
                                                        • BPC brands expand to health supplement category
                                                          • Figure 34: New beauty supplement launches by skincare brands, US, 2017-18
                                                        • Boosting beauty from hair to toe
                                                          • Figure 35: New health supplement launches targeting specific body spots, UK and US, 2018
                                                        • Probiotic supplements
                                                          • Figure 36: New probiotic supplement launches, China and New Zealand, 2017
                                                        • Sports nutrition
                                                          • Figure 37: New sports nutrition launches, Sweden and Japan, 2018
                                                        • Anti-pollution claim
                                                          • Figure 38: New health supplement launches with anti-pollution claim, US, 2018
                                                      • The Consumer – What you need to know

                                                        • Rising usage for self-consumption
                                                          • Offline channels also appeal to young consumers
                                                            • Diverse brands in market
                                                              • No need to wait for products drives offline channels
                                                                • Convenience and niche brands encourage consumers to buy online
                                                                  • Probiotic supplements more effective than yogurt
                                                                  • Purchased Health Supplements

                                                                    • Self-consumption is increasing
                                                                      • Figure 39: Health supplements purchased in the last 12 months, 2018 vs 2017
                                                                    • Probiotic supplements have broad consumer base
                                                                      • Figure 40: Health supplements purchased in the last 12 months, July 2018
                                                                      • Figure 41: Probiotic supplements purchased in the last 12 months, July 2018
                                                                  • Purchasing Channel

                                                                    • Drugstores/pharmacies is the top channel for purchasing health supplements
                                                                      • Figure 42: Purchasing channel of health supplements in the last 12 months, July 2018
                                                                    • No big difference for gifting occasion…
                                                                      • …and neither for western supplements and TCM supplements
                                                                        • Figure 43: Purchasing channel of health supplements in the last 12 months, by purchased health supplements, July 2018
                                                                      • Young adults and over-50s more reliant on drugstores
                                                                        • Figure 44: Purchasing channel of health supplements in the last 12 months, by select demographics, July 2018
                                                                      • Buying offline for different reasons
                                                                        • Figure 45: Purchasing channel of health supplements in the last 12 months, by select demographics, July 2018
                                                                      • Affluent consumers visit more overseas channels and fewer drugstores/pharmacies
                                                                        • Does direct-selling appeal to high earners?
                                                                          • Figure 46: Purchasing channel of health supplements in the last 12 months, by select demographics, July 2018
                                                                        • More cross-channel shopping in tier one cities
                                                                          • Figure 47: Purchasing channel of health supplements in the last 12 months, by select demographics, July 2018
                                                                        • Online and offline coexist
                                                                          • Figure 48: TURF analysis of purchasing channel of health supplements in the last 12 months, July 2018
                                                                      • Purchased Brands by Channel

                                                                        • By-health domains domestic market
                                                                          • Figure 49: Top 4 brands purchased in the last 12 months, by channels, July 2018
                                                                        • By-health is perceived as an international brand sold on overseas online shopping sites
                                                                          • Figure 50: Top 10 brands purchased in the last 12 months, by channels, July 2018
                                                                        • Dispersive market with long tail
                                                                          • Melatonin and Yangshengtang capture young adult’s attention
                                                                            • Figure 51: Top 10 brands purchased from offline channels in the last 12 months, by select demographics, July 2018
                                                                          • Amway and Nutrilite appeal to different age groups
                                                                          • Offline Shopping Drivers

                                                                            • Getting the right, authentic product immediately
                                                                              • Figure 52: Offline shopping drivers, July 2018
                                                                            • Avoiding knockoffs is important for offline shoppers only
                                                                              • Figure 53: Top five reasons for shopping offline (offline shoppers only), July 2018
                                                                            • Instantaneity and sales advice especially to elder consumers
                                                                              • Figure 54: Offline shopping drivers, by select demographics, July 2018
                                                                            • How to attract affluent consumers to physical stores?
                                                                              • Figure 55: Offline shopping drivers, by select demographics, July 2018
                                                                          • Online Shopping Drivers

                                                                            • Convenience and perception that online is cheaper
                                                                              • Figure 56: Online shopping drivers, July 2018
                                                                            • Convenience is not the top driver for online shoppers only
                                                                              • Figure 57: Top five reasons for shopping online (online shoppers only), July 2018
                                                                            • Don’t trust online channels but still using
                                                                              • Figure 58: Online shopping drivers, July 2018
                                                                            • Younger consumers looking for niche products
                                                                              • Figure 59: Online shopping drivers, by select demographics, July 2018
                                                                          • Attitudes towards Health Supplements

                                                                            • Probiotic supplements or yogurt?
                                                                              • Figure 60: Attitudes towards probiotic supplements, July 2018
                                                                              • Figure 61: Shanxianwei probiotic supplement education
                                                                              • Figure 62: New probiotic healthcare launch, by format, China vs Global, January 2017 – October 2018
                                                                            • Consumers aged 50-59 are more positive towards probiotic supplements
                                                                              • Figure 63: Attitudes towards probiotic supplements (effectiveness), by select demographics, July 2018
                                                                              • Figure 64: Attitudes towards probiotic supplements (convenience), by select demographics, July 2018
                                                                            • Majority consumers believe the effect of beauty supplements
                                                                              • Figure 65: Attitudes towards beauty supplements, July 2018
                                                                              • Figure 66: HUM Nutrition Collagen Pop, US, 2018
                                                                            • Early 20s and over-50s are most likely to believe beauty supplements can work
                                                                              • Figure 67: Attitudes towards beauty supplements, by select demographics, July 2018
                                                                            • Imported products win more trust
                                                                              • Figure 68: Attitudes towards brand origins, July 2018
                                                                            • But younger consumers are showing more confidence in domestic brands
                                                                              • Figure 69: Attitudes towards brand origins, by select demographics, July 2018
                                                                            • Food formats perceived as safer and more effective simultaneously
                                                                              • Figure 70: Attitudes towards health supplements made into food format, July 2018
                                                                              • Figure 71: Vitafusion SleepWell Sugar Free Gummy Adult Sleep Support Dietary Supplement
                                                                            • Effect outweighs taste
                                                                              • Figure 72: Attitudes towards taste of health supplements, July 2018
                                                                            • Prevent illness rather than treat illness
                                                                              • Figure 73: Attitudes towards health supplements, July 2018
                                                                          • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                                                            • Mintropolitans shop at more channels
                                                                              • Figure 74: Purchasing channel of health supplements in the last 12 months, by select demographics, July 2018
                                                                            • Offline experience matters to Mintropolitans
                                                                              • Figure 75: Offline shopping drivers, by select demographics, July 2018
                                                                            • Efficiency drives Mintropolitans to purchase online
                                                                              • Figure 76: Online shopping drivers, by select demographics, July 2018
                                                                          • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                              • Figure 77: Total value sales of health supplement market, China 2013-23
                                                                          • Appendix – Market Segmentation

                                                                              • Figure 78: Total value sales of vitamin market, China 2013-23
                                                                              • Figure 79: Total value sales of mineral market, China 2013-23
                                                                              • Figure 80: Total value sales of dietary supplement market, China 2013-23
                                                                          • Appendix – Word Cloud of Purchased Brands

                                                                              • Figure 81: Brands purchased from offline channels in the last 12 months, July 2018
                                                                              • Figure 82: Brands purchased from domestic comprehensive online shopping websites in the last 12 months, July 2018
                                                                              • Figure 83: Brands purchased from overseas online shopping websites in the last 12 months, July 2018
                                                                              • Figure 84: Brands purchased from Daigou in the last 12 months, July 2018
                                                                          • Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

                                                                            • Methodology
                                                                              • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                • Abbreviations