The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 saw a surge of interest in health supplement products in China, with people looking to boost their immune systems and to try and keep as healthy as possible. 18 months on, China has largely returned to normal, but sales of health supplements have remained strong.
June 18th is the one of the biggest days of the shopping calendar in China across the board, and the health supplements market is no exception. Let’s take a look at some of the winners from the Chinese health supplements market from this year’s June 18th shopping festival (also known as 6-18).
As can be seen from the historical data, sales revenue for health supplements brands have remained fairly steady between last year’s 6-18 and this year’s. There was a noticeable dip in February, during the time of the Spring Festival, although this was to be expected – as it is a time when consumers spend their disposable income on the festivities instead.
So, it can be seen that sales have been strong, but who have been the big winners? Have consumers been stacking up on their vitamins and minerals just like last year? Which price range saw the biggest sales? What countries have consumers bought their products from? Let’s take a look to answer these questions and more!
Best-Selling Overseas Health Supplement: Category Analysis
Sales Revenue Market Share
Last year, vitamins and minerals took the top category. This isn’t so much of a surprise, as consumers were looking to boost their immune systems as a highly contagious new virus spread across the world. Although vitamins and minerals still saw strong sales, it didn’t occupy the top spot this year. That went to protein powder/amino acids/collagen.
Best-Selling Overseas Health Supplement Categories Analysis
The subcategories with a market share of sales revenue of over 5% are: protein powder/amino acids/collagen, vitamins/minerals, other plant extracts, beauty supplements, probiotics, mushroom/microbial fermentation, other seafood extracts, and omega fatty acid.
The subcategories with a market share of 1-5% are: other dietary supplements,dietary fiber/carbohydrates, health functional food, sports slimming food, animal extracts, and nutrition pack.
Popular Product Characteristics
In terms of what characteristics consumers were looking for in their products, Australian and American products proved very popular (Australia and the United States were the top two countries by monthly sales volume, United States and Australia were the top two countries by monthly sales revenue). Tablets were the most popular product by monthly sales volume and revenue. In terms of marketed content by monthly sales and revenue, probiotics took the top spot, with glucosamine hydrochloride (a nutritional supplement) second.
Price Range of Overseas Health Supplements
Last year, the biggest-selling price range for overseas health supplements was 100-150 RMB, with other big-selling price ranges being 50-100 RMB, 150-200 RMB, and 200 – 300 RMB. Although the overall price range of best-selling products remains the same, the biggest selling product price range this year is 200 – 300 RMB, suggesting that Chinese consumers now have more disposable income, a year on from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the biggest-selling sub-category (protein powder/amino acids/collagen), the biggest-selling price range was 50 – 100 RMB, followed by 200 – 300 RMB. However, only one of the top 5 biggest-selling products is in the RMB yuan range. This suggests that consumers still have an eagle eye for a bargain, although they are not focusing on one specific product.
In the vitamins and minerals sub-category, the highest-selling price range was 100 -150 RMB, with the RMB yuan price range a close second. The low prices can be explained by the low cost of raw materials for these types of products.
Search Keywords Analysis
An analysis of the most-searched for keywords on Baidu for 6-18 shows a big emphasis on liver-related products. ‘Protect liver medicine’ was the most searched for related keyword by some distance, with nearly 3.8 million searches. ‘Protect liver to stay up late’ was the second-most searched-for keyword, with over 400,000 searches.
In terms of rising keywords (keywords seeing a surge in popularity), ‘γ-Aminobutyric acid’ was the biggest riser. This product is often used as a stress reliever, which suggests Chinese consumers are looking at ways to bring more calmness into their hectic lives.
Top Selling Overseas Health Supplements for June 2021 (by Sales Revenue)
1. Biowell NMN10000 NAD+ Supplement 60 Capsules
Brand: Bio Well
Listed price: 6499RMB
Average selling price: 3234.99RMB
Sales revenue: 15,126,832.8RMB
Sales volume: 4,676
This product contains NMN, a naturally occurring compound found in our bodies. Taken as a supplement, it is claimed to increase energy levels. At a time when increasingly hectic lifestyles are becoming the norm, it’s no shock that Chinese consumers are flocking to a product that can keep them sharp throughout the day. It’s obviously a product that consumers have a lot of confidence in, as it isn’t a cheap item, with an average selling price of over 3200 RMB.
2. Swisse Hyaluronic Acid + Collagen Health Supplement
Product: Hyaluronic Acid
Listed price: 599RMB
Average selling price: 499RMB
Sales revenue: 12,729,490RMB
Sales volume: 25,510
This product is a food supplement designed to work from within the body and support skin health. It is claimed that hyaluronic acid can help to protect skin against UV rays in the hot summer sunshine, which may explain why it surged in popularity in time for 6-18.
3. Schiff Move Free Glucosamine 120 Capsules *2
Product: Glucosamine Hydrochloride
Listed price: 418RMB
Average selling price: 382.41RMB
Sales revenue: 12,015,978RMB
Sales volume: 31,422
As the name implies, this product is designed for improved mobility and joint health. Coming in 2 packets of 120 tablets at an average selling price of 382 RMB, Schiff Move Free is designed for everybody from athletes to grandparents.
4. Swisse Ultiboost High Strength Milk Thistle 120 Tablets
Product: Milk Thistle
Listed price: 298RMB
Average selling price: 218RMB
Sales revenue: 11,824,756RMB
Sales volume: 54,242
‘Protect liver medicine’ was the most searched for related keyword on Baidu in the run-up to 6-18, so it should be of no surprise to see a liver health product on the list of top 5 selling products. It is sold on the Swisse Overseas Flagship Store.
5. Biowell Citrus Polyphenols 211k+
Product: Citrus Polyphenols
Brand: Bio Well
Listed price: 399RMB
Average selling price: 299RMB
Sales revenue: 9,724,676RMB
Sales volume: 32,524
Polyphenols is a compound found in citrus fruits, and contains antioxidant properties that can help to boost health. This product from Biowell has an average selling price of 299RMB.
The rest of the top 15 top-selling health supplement products can be found below:
- By Health Milk Thistle Capsules
- Swisse Calcium Vitamin D 150 tablets
- Metamucil Natural Psyllium Husk 4-in-1 Fiber Supplement with Real Sugar Unflavored Powder – 114ct
- Swisse Ultiboost Calcium + Vitamin D
- Princess Luna Vaginal Probiotics
- Life Space Broad Spectrum Probiotic
- Lacto-fit SynBiotic Formula
- Schiff MoveFree Joint Protection 200 Capsules
- SYNEXT NAD+ Biogency Capsules
- Swisse Ultiboost Grape Seed
The growth in the health supplements market that was seen in the aftermath of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic during last year’s 6-18 has continued into 2021. This suggests that a greater emphasis on health for consumers is one of the many societal changes that has come out of the pandemic. Additionally, a shift towards a higher price range for the best-selling products suggests that Chinese consumers now have more disposable income than they did at the same time last year.