A market of nutritional supplements

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Fifty-six year-old Liu Wen-jing developed a new hobby after she retired-taking nutritional products twice a day to alleviate high cholesterol and knee pain.

“Better to be preventive than be treated in the hospital,” said Liu, who is among a rising number of Chinese consumers who are concerned about their health.

According to a health and wellness survey conducted by the Boston Consulting Group in 2013, 73 percent of Chinese consumers are willing to trade up and pay a higher price for products that are deemed healthier.

That is 12 percentage points higher than the global average.

happy, look good and have enough energy for an active lifestyle, the survey indicated.

Last year, health care and nutrition products jumped to second out of 15 product categories in which Chinese consumers planned to spend more, up from No 11 in 2011, said the survey, which interviewed 2,600 Chinese consumers from the middle and affluent classes.

Rising income levels among those classes are driving the market shift. Earning an annual income of 120,000 yuan and crossing the threshold of the low-affluent class is the inflection point for increased consumption of vitamins and supplements, the report said.

The report projected solid growth for the OTC (over the counter) segment and even stronger growth for the VMS (vitamins, minerals and supplements) market.

From 2012 to 2020, it is estimated that the OTC segment will grow by 8 percent annually, and the VMS market is expected to grow even faster, at 13 percent, according to the report. China’s retail health market is predicted to more than double the current estimated value of $67 billion.

The reasons behind rising interest in health and nutrition products are said to be needs-based. The BCG report found that almost half of Chinese consumers surveyed reported feeling subpar because of lifestyle factors such as work pressure, family obligations and long work hours, generating physical complaints ranging from insomnia and fatigue to obesity and frequent illness.

The report said the incidence of these complaints is growing, especially among younger people, with 30 percent of respondents aged 18 to 24 reporting ailments compared with only 18 percent of those over 40 years old.

Source: usa.china daily

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