Supplements bestselling category on Singles' Day, with Swisse the top imported brand

By Cheryl Tay contact

- Last updated on GMT

Since it was created, Singles' Day has grown exponentially, with overseas promotional campaigns and even a gala event in Shanghai on Saturday featuring celebrities like Mariah Carey and Miranda Kerr. ©Getty Images
Since it was created, Singles' Day has grown exponentially, with overseas promotional campaigns and even a gala event in Shanghai on Saturday featuring celebrities like Mariah Carey and Miranda Kerr. ©Getty Images

Related tags: Supplements, Vitamins, Infant formula, Milk, Australia, China

Singles' Day, the world's largest annual shopping event, once again turned out to be a roaring success for Australian supplement firms selling to China.

Companies like Swisse, Bio Island and Blackmores did particularly well at the yearly sale hosted by Alibaba on November 11 (also called Double 11), which raked in a total of US$30.7bn (RMB213.5bn), a 27% increase from last year's figure.

Overall, however, Australia fell one place from last year to fourth this year. The top three spots were taken by Japan, the US, and South Korea.

Over the decade since it was created, Singles' Day has grown exponentially, with promotional campaigns in other countries and even a gala event in Shanghai on Saturday night featuring celebrities like Mariah Carey and Miranda Kerr.

With a wide variety of promotions and discounts, the event has managed to consistently attract shoppers, providing plenty of opportunity for Australian firms, which are already trusted and well loved among Chinese consumers.

Aussie appeal

Australian vitamin and formula milk firms were among the top imported brands on this year's Singles' Day, with overall Australian sales seeing a 35% increase from last year.

Swisse — which is now owned by the Chinese Health & Happiness (H&H) Group — topped the list of bestselling Australian brands at this year's event.

In second place was milk powder producer Devondale, whose owner is dairy giant Murray Goulburn. Vitamin and supplement brand Bio Island took the third spot, followed by Blackmores in fourth place.

Healthy Care, a supplement brand that had made it big by selling grapeseed capsules through Chemist Warehouse, was fifth on the list, while infant formula firm Bellamy's made it to ninth place.

In terms of global health and nutrition brand sales on the Tmall and Taobao platforms, Swisse came out on top, followed by Chinese firm By-Health, which now owns Australian probiotics producer Life-Space.

Global health and nutrition brand sales on the Tmall platform alone saw Swisse once again take the top spot, with Blackmores and Health Care in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

Swisse MD Oliver Horn said: "Singles' Day is China's biggest shopping event and is a barometer of how popular brands are in the market.

"This continues Swisse's momentum in the China market, where we were crowned the most popular imported brand by Alibaba's TMall International during Single's Day festival last year."

He added that Swisse had launched its Singles' Day campaign with a massive pop-up store in Guangzhou's Taikoo Place on Friday.

Over 1.25 million Chinese viewers tuned into the live streaming of the launch, no doubt drawn by Zhu Zhengting, Swisse's spokesperson for its new Golden Collagen Blood Orange Liquid beauty nutrition product. Zhu was a participant on China's Idol Producer show, and has now become immensely popular among local viewers.

The Singles' Day accolade is the latest in Swisse's continued financial success — its Q3 results​ reported a 29.3% global sales growth from last year, with the China market accounting for 37.1% of the company's total international sales.

Competition for the creator

While Alibaba invented Singles' Day 10 years ago, it now has sales competition from other e-commerce platforms in China, such as JD.com. According to Swisse, its sales on JD.com this year jumped 35 times from last year's during the first hour of the sale.

Health, infant nutrition and beauty products dominated the top 10 bestselling categories, with health supplements in top spot, milk powder in second place and infant nutrition in sixth place.

Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang said, "Today, we witnessed the strength and rise of China's consumption economy, and consumers' continued pursuit to upgrade their everyday lifestyles."

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