In the first four hours of the online sales event – said to be the peak of the event, transaction volume of nutrition and supplement products was 120 per cent higher than that of last year.
Categories wise, the liver and eye care segments were said to have increased by two times in transaction volume as compared to last year.
Products wise, Nemans algae DHA 90 capsules bottle, BYHEALTH’s 600g protein powder gift box, and Schiff Move Free’s 120 coated tablets glucosamine chondroitin bottle for supporting joint health recorded the highest transaction volume on JD Health.
Aside from its traditional use in sports nutrition, protein powder is also popular in China for its immune health benefits, Yang Ye, vice president and general manager of nutrition and health care products at JD Health told NutraIngredients-Asia.
Brands wise, transaction volume of Swisse, BYHEALTH, and Tong Ren Tang broke the RMB100 million (US$13m) mark.
Swisse, BYHEALTH have been the usual bestsellers during Double 11 for the past few years. Last year, Swisse’s most popular products included its calcium + vitamin D mini tabs, liver detox, and grape seed products.
This year, its NAD+ Restore – a product under Swisse Plus, a range catered to Chinese consumers seeking premium products, was highlighted as one of the products that have exceeded the one million yuan mark in Double 11 this year.
The hard-capsule product contains Niagen – a patented nicotinamide riboside ingredient from Chromadex – and is said to support NAD+ production and anti-ageing.
This reflects the trend of how ingredients associated with NAD+ production have been well-received in the Chinese market. One prominent example is nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN).
JD Health cited Swisse Plus NAD+ Restore as one of the examples well-liked by consumers for its scientifically-backed ingredients.
Products with novel flavours and dosage formats, such as Biostime’s milk-flavoured probiotic powder and SmartyPants kids multivitamins gummies were the other products that have broken the one million yuan mark.
Products that are easier to consume, such as mini-sized calcium tablets also recorded a transaction volume that was six times of the same period last year. Examples of popular products include Swisse's Calcium + Vitamin D mini tabs. Each tablet is said to be only one-third of the normal tablet size, making it easier to swallow.
Other categories, including vitamins for infants and toddlers, calcium, glucosamine chondroitin, fish oil, co-enzyme Q10, products containing lutein, lingonberry extracts, and those targeted at liver and lung health, also reported 1.5 times growth in transaction volume.
Based on its data, consumers’ demand for weight loss, slimming, beauty have significantly increased.
In fact, products that claim to contain zero sugar, zero carbohydrates, and zero fats have become the new trend, said JD Health.
This has in turn led to the demand for meal replacement milkshakes, low-sugar nutrition products, collagen, slimming and antioxidants products.
Pet care is also said to have gained strong momentum.
Online nutritionist consultation
On the other hand, JD Health has introduced an online nutritionist consultation program, which it said was designed to resolve consumers’ pain points when selecting the health supplements to purchase.
“Based on consumer surveys, we found that consumers are facing a number of pain points when it comes to selecting nutrition products.
“For example, they might not know how to choose the products. For some, they know that they require nutrient supplementation but do not know which product suits them,” Yang said.
Users can choose whether they want to consult the nutritionist when they are on the product page while shopping on JD app. The option to consult the nutritionist is at the bottom of the product page.
“If I were to take a protein powder as an example, the most common questions from users would include whether a particular protein powder is suitable for me, and if I have certain chronic diseases, can I consume the product, otherwise, what are some of the more suitable products.”
The service has been running as a pilot project since the end of 2020.
Yang said that one of the challenges was that consumers might not readily notice the option to consult the nutritionists but once they have used the service, most would be satisfied with it.
“Consumers might not notice this service easily on the product page, but once they have consulted the nutritionist, the level of satisfaction are very high. At the moment, the overall satisfaction level is at 95 per cent and above.
“We have seen very positive feedback about the consultation service from our users, but when we talk about their awareness of this service, we are still at the stage of promoting it and we are still working on this.”
Another challenge to overcome was equipping the nutritionists with adequate knowledge of the products.
“We might think that the nutritionists would have a good understanding of the products, but we realised we need to educate them on the functions of the vast variety of the nutrition products sold on our platform, in order to improve their ability to resolve consumers’ queries,” Yang said.