China focus: Direct-selling, H&H’s kids nutrition, coronavirus, and GNC in spotlight

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

China focus: Direct-selling, H&H’s kids nutrition, coronavirus, and GNC in spotlight

Related tags China kids nutrition Gnc H&H Group coronavirus

This round up provides a glimpse on how direct-selling firms in China are adopting new retail models, how H&H plans to expand its kids nutrition portfolio, the impact of the Covid-19 on businesses, and GNC’s blue-hat products.
Direct-selling firms in China look to new retail channels amid tough market environment

Direct-selling firms in China have adopted new sales models​ as the regulatory framework tightens and consumers’ perception becomes less favourable.

Some of these firms, such as Infinitus, have turned their focus to cross-border e-commerce (CBEC) and social commerce, an industry expert pointed out.  

‘The direct-selling industry has been declining in the past few years. The current public discourse surrounding the direct-selling enterprises are not very positive too,’​ Charles Diao, regulatory manager at US-China Health Products Association said in response to queries from NutraIngredients-Asia.

Snacking for kids: H&H’s Good Gout to expand China product offering and distribution channels

Health & Happiness (H&H) Group’s Good Gout is focusing on its China expansion​ this year, with new product launches and more offline distribution channels in the pipeline for the firm which specialises in organic snacks for children.

The French company was acquired by H&H in 2018 and first entered the China market last year​.

This year, the firm will launch new products such as new flavoured nut bars, animal-shaped biscuits, chocolate biscuit, yoghurt, and vegetable chips.

Coronavirus impact: Nutrition retailers hit by drastic cut in China tourist numbers

The ongoing China Coronavirus outbreak has affected a number of nutrition retailers​ which rely on Chinese tourists as a key revenue stream, with some putting on hold new plans and adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach.

The 2019-nCov Coronavirus, which originated from the Chinese city of Wuhan, has crippled the outbound tourism industry, with China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism issuing a ban on its citizens from booking overseas tours and purchasing overseas flights and hotel packages. 

The cut in the number of Chinese tourists has affected the business plans of some health and nutrition products retailers.

GNC hits Chinese pharmacies with four newly approved ‘blue-hat’ products

Four of GNC’s health supplements have obtained the ‘blue-hat’ status in China and can now be sold in Chinese pharmacies.

The products which have obtained the ‘blue-hat’ status include 1) a melatonin and vitamin B6 capsule, 2) a co-enzyme Q10 and natural vitamin E softgel, 3) a glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate and calcium capsule, and 4) a conjugated linoleic acid, green tea, and l-carnitine softgel.

GNC is partnering with Renmintongtai,​ the pharmacy chain of Chinese firm Harbin Pharmaceutical Group, to sell products.

Six traditional Chinese medicinal herbs allowed for use as food spices but health claims denied

The Chinese authorities allowed the use of six traditional Chinese medicinal herbs as food spices​, but manufacturers will not be allowed to attach any health claim under this process.

In an announcement​ made on Jan 6, China’s National Health Commission (NHC) listed the six herbs as danggui (Angelica sinensis​), Shannai (Kaempferia galanga​ L.), xi hong hua (Crocus sativus​ L.), cai guo (Amomum tsao-ko​), turmeric, and biba (Piper longum​ L.). 

When manufactured as a general food, the product label, indication, advertisement, and promotion content for the herb must adhere to the Food Safety Laws.

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