As China works hard to resolve the Coronavirus crisis, and much of the country’s workforce stays safe at home following the Chinese New Year celebrations, what has this situation meant for the health supplements industry here in the Middle Kingdom?
Health Supplements Are Not a Cure or Vaccine
While this may seem obvious to many, it bears stressing that unproven medical claims regarding health supplements can put companies in hot water (and not the healthy kind!). Indeed, the industry’s four most prominent US trade associations jointly issued an advisory to retailers, consumers, and marketers warning against such misleading claims.
Health supplements can be used as part of a healthy lifestyle to enhance one’s immune system. In this sense, one can indirectly help ward off disease. However, companies should be careful not to suggest that health supplements are the answer to staying safe from the Coronavirus. This is especially important since many are still very concerned about the issue.
Overseas Companies with Long-Term Concerns
Some foreign brands whose products rely on ingredients or production processes in China have voiced concern that should the situation drag on too long, it may affect their supply. In particular, Wuhan is a central supply hub for vitamin C and amino acids, popular with many brands. This of course hasn’t affected companies within China, nor those who manufacture entirely outside the country. Additionally, some American companies already stockpiled supplies before the virus became a concern, due to anxieties about Sino-American trade relations. As a result, and quite by accident, these companies can hold out longer against virus-based disruptions!
Sales Boom Over Holiday Period
It’s not unusual for a holiday such as Chinese New Year to see an increase in sales. Here, however, the timing is unlikely to be solely down to bonuses and holiday cheer. Chinese consumers are aware that a healthy and strong immune system can mean a better chance to stay healthy. That even goes for when they’re cooped up at home during this time! So it isn’t surprising that the industry has seen a sales spike. The increase in sales has concentrated on supplements that boost your immune system or help with respiratory issues. Chinese company Happiness Biotech Group has reported a 100% sales increase in one variety of such products. Another, Angel Yeast, posted three-fold increases in some related products. Experts predict increases will continue for the foreseeable future.
Although some companies that source ingredients in more affected areas like Hubei are somewhat concerned about staying on top of production goals should this spike in sales continue, for now they are enjoying the increased interest and celebrating China’s efficient and still fully operational express delivery services that have made life indoors so much more tolerable for those in affected areas.