Imports still impress: Survey reveals Chinese consumers place premium on overseas supplements

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

More than half of the Chinese consumers surveyed said they preferred imported supplement products. ©Getty Images
More than half of the Chinese consumers surveyed said they preferred imported supplement products. ©Getty Images

Related tags imports Supplements China

More than half (53.7%) of the Chinese consumers surveyed said they bought imported nutrition supplements, while only 7.9% preferred to buy local products, according to a white paper released by the Chinese Nutrition Society.

Titled Year 2019 China imported supplement consumption behaviour white paper​, the study, published by the Chinese Nutrition Society, was conducted with support from Australian supplement giant Swisse. 

This is also the first time the society has led a study on consumption attitude towards imported nutrition supplements in China.

The study involved about 7,982 participants. Out of which, more than half of the subjects (57.6%) said they had previously bought imported supplements.

Seven out of 10 said that they would determine the authenticity of an imported product by referring to its original country of production.

As such, the study highlighted that Chinese consumers are more particular about the original country of production when deciding to buy an imported supplement.

Supplements from Australia, New Zealand, and the US are most popular​ with the Chinese consumers. 

Chairman of the society, Yue Xin Yang, explained that the study was conducted because it was observed that the public lacked scientific knowledge and official guidelines when purchasing health supplements.

“In recent years, various types of unhealthy diets and lifestyles have led to a great increase in the number of chronic diseases. Families these days are increasingly concerned with their health and more people are buying imported health supplements. However, from the observation of consumption behaviour, it was found that the public lacked scientific knowledge and official guidelines,” ​Yang said.

As such, the society hoped to devise ways to spread public awareness on  health and nutrition knowledge, determine the nutritional value of imported supplements, so as to help the Chinese consumers achieve a balanced nutritional intake.

Multivitamins most popular

Amongst all imported supplements, it was found that the Chinese consumers have the greatest demand for multivitamins, with 8 in 10 saying that they have a need for such products.

Besides vitamins, Chinese consumers are also more inclined towards supplements that are made from plants and botanical sources.

For instance, products containing cranberry and common evening primrose are more popular amongst the consumers.

In addition, imported supplements that promoted bone and joint health are also sought by the Chinese consumers. At the same time, they would tend to buy products that are gentle to the stomach.

Gender wise, females made up the bulk of the consumers of imported supplements.

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