Vitamins and Health Supplements Market in China

Health Supplements Market in China

In Western countries vitamins and dietary supplements (VDS) is a product category difficult to define but, in China, there are 27 functions characterizing VDS. In 2022, Chinese consumers spend 4.7 billion USD on health supplements and the numbers are constantly growing. This is a result of increasing disposable incomes and increasing health awareness of the Chinese middle class, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, the market of vitamin and dietary supplements in China is expected to reach 5.14 billion dollars, with a CAGR of 8.85% in the 2023-2027 period. Actually, according to JD.com, the sale of vitamins and dietary supplements has been multiplied by 5 since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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In this blog post, we will take a look at the health supplement market in China, the market size, and trends shaping the demand, adding some of our advice on how to market supplement products to Chinese consumers.

Why do the Chinese consume vitamins and health supplements?

These products allow consumers’ immune systems and memory to be fortified, blood to be regulated, sleep quality to be enhanced, and organs to be protected. Other kinds of VDS can help people to lose weight, have clear skin, or have higher bone density.

In China, the most valued vitamins and food supplements are those with functions over the immune system and account for 27% of sales. The sales growth of vitamins and dietary supplements is stable and growing exponentially, making China the biggest vitamin and health supplements market in the world.

Chinese consumers appreciate VDS using modern biotechnology associated with Chinese traditional herbal food. In the past few years, vitamins orientated products became one of the key trends shaping the health supplement market. Calcium and protein powder are also valued by Chinese consumers.

Health Supplements Market in China: reasons for taking dietary supplements

The potential of the VDS market in China

While in developed countries healthcare market is 15% of the total GDP, in China, it is only 2%. However, the annual growth rate of health care in the country reaches 30%. By 2027, the market of vitamin and dietary supplements in China is expected to reach US$7.22 billion, with a CAGR of 8.85%.

In regular times, Chinese people are striving to find the best foreign VDS products possible, the current situation is perfect timing for you to boost your presence or get into the Chinese market.

Health Supplements Market in China: vitabiotics on Wechat

The Covid-19 virus scared the Chinese population (to be honest, pretty much all of them got scared too), especially the elders who knew that the virus is more fatal for them. Taking VDS is more important than ever for them to be physically more resistant and benefit from the effects already seen above (blood regulation, organ protection, immune system fortification, …).

In the next few months, the Chinese VDS market is an open door only waiting for you to open it even wider. Right now, Chinese consumers are super receptive to anything that can help them to be healthy and improve their health, which is why it is a good time to enter the market.

What are the factors contributing to the industry’s rise?

In Mainland China, health products are now seen as luxury goods due to a growing trend of healthy lifestyle products. The Chinese middle class is more and more health-conscious. Therefore, consumers are turning to healthy products, such as vitamins and health care products.

The Chinese population is also getting older, it is estimated that more than 30 percent of the population will be age 60 or older by 2050. Consequently, the old generation needs to take care of their health. In order to develop a healthy population and reduce medical expenditures, the Chinese government will more and more support vitamins and dietary supplements.

Moreover, in China, meals are supposed to be nutritionally balanced and use natural ingredients, suggesting that healthy foods would be able to be marketed and assimilated well into local traditions.

Even if the Chinese spend 28 times less on VDS compared to Western countries, this market has a high potential due to the increase in the population’s purchase power. Therefore, China is at a pace to become the largest VDS market as the population is shifting towards a healthy and functional alimentation.

Health Supplements Market in China

The Chinese demand for overseas food supplements

Due to the fact that many consumers have been betrayed by Chinese companies, Chinese consumers are avoiding local brands and are more inclined to trust foreign health supplement brands. Indeed, Chinese consumers are looking for trustable quality international brands, using high-end technologies and biology knowledge. Consequently, despite a majority of 96% local firms, international brands have grabbed over 70% of the vitamins and dietary supplement market.

VDS companies are further segmenting their products to meet the growing specific demands of their Chinese consumers. Not only are they segmented by conditions such as memory boosting, immunity enhancement, or pregnancy health, but they are also adjusting their ingredients and foreign branding to merge with local Chinese preferences.

How to sell vitamins on the health supplement market in China?

Health Supplements Market in China: tmall vitamins

Regulations to enter the Chinese VBD market

China has strict regulations concerning product registration and licensing for health sector products because you need to obtain the Health Food Approval Certificate from the CFDA. Food products can be labeled as health food if it applies to one of two categories: food with specific health functions, which are the products suitable for consumption by specific groups of people with the aim of regulating different human body functions, or nutritional supplements which are the products that contain dietary ingredients used to supplement nutrients for the human body.

With e-commerce, you can sell straight away without a license so long as you gain approval from the relevant cross-border platforms. Online platforms are becoming more and more utilized by tech-savvy consumers, indeed a clear majority of Chinese purchases are made online, and mobile sales growth is growing every year.

Because e-commerce will likely become one of the most popular outlets for selling vitamins and dietary supplements, an online sales infrastructure is essential. For example, you can establish your business on Tmall. This is the largest and most reputable cross-border e-commerce platform in China because it is associated with quality and authenticity. As an open platform marketplace, Tmall.com provides the infrastructure to host your storefront and unfiltered access to hundreds of millions of shoppers.

Health Supplements Market in China: Vitabiotics case study

Create a Chinese website

Even though websites in China are not meant to sell, they work as hallmarks of brands, where people can check important information, product photos, etc. Chinese people like to do research before purchasing any product, especially if it’s connected to health. Just like people in the West check Google for relevant information, Chinese Internet users scroll through Baidu.

This is why it’s important to have a Chinese website hosted in China that will be optimized for Baidu SEO so that you rank on the first pages of the search engine.

Apart from having a Chinese website, it’s also worthwhile to participate in forums like Zhihu or Baidu Tieba, so that you work on your reputation and increase your visibility in Baidu.

Health Supplements Market in China: Swisse on Baidu

Social Media: Ultimate Weapon for Communication


WeChat is the most popular Chinese social media platform with more than 1.26 billion monthly active users. Essential in Chinese people’s everyday life, this platform is also essential for you when making your promotion. You will be able to share visible content with everyone from your official account and users can share content with all their contacts with their Moments or chat groups (up to several hundred) about you.

Your marketing content can quickly be spread in WeChat with the following tools:

  • WeChat groups: this allows you to initiate discussions and share information about a product or a new release.
  • WeChat mini-programs: a mini-app in WeChat, an efficient tool to commercialize, inform, or even entertain your audience. You can create a mini-program for different purposes.
  • WeChat brochure: A simple website page you can format as you want which allows you to be classic or very original.
  • WeChat live stream: a new feature for official accounts making it possible to plan live streaming and invite users to attend it
Health Supplements Market in China: Lemonbox health supplements on WeChat


Weibo is Chinese Twitter with over 580 million monthly active users. It’s a popular platform offering a large audience and is ideal for reaching the target you have set. This app is also focusing on visual content which is perfect if you want to promote VDS products.

For example, if you want to promote products that have an anti-acne effect, you’ll be able to show before/after pictures and attractive pictures of your products. You will also be able to promote your product through several channels such as:

  • Display ads: ads that will appear on the user’s feed or on the side of his page and will direct them to your homepage by clicking on it.
  • Fan Tunnels: efficient and visible headline ads that will appear to an audience you can target.
  • KOLs: Certainly the best way to reach your target is by cooperating with an influencer thus gaining its followers’ trust and a reliable brand image.
Health Supplements Market in China: ITL Health


Similar in some ways to Pinterest, Little Red Book is both a shopping and a forum platform. It offers reviews and advice about products from its users. That’s why Xiaohongshu is essentially based on word of mouth and mutual trust in this online community, which can play a lot in the trust relationship with consumers. Using this platform can help consumers to go purchase your product if they hesitate with competitors’.

Vitamin Market in China Sell on Little Red Book

Tips to Promote your product on RED:

  • Official brand account: the creation of it is essential for the sale of your products when potential customers will be willing to get more information.
  • Online store: setting up your online store on this platform will boost your sales and increase the buying conversion rate.
  • Display ads: there are two types of ads in this platform, the one that pops up when you open the app and the one that will be integrated in the user’s feed.
  • KOLs: Just as in Weibo, KOLs collaborate with brands to develop users’ engagement and increase brand awareness.


The 2019 short video app boomed in China. Very popular among Chinese youth, you will have the opportunity to reach this audience if you are seeking it. Chinese young people are also used to VDS products and are in love with short video content. Making short video marketing is an efficient way to be visible and get the attention of Chinese people but there here are other ways for your promotion:

  • Cheap ads
  • Douyin’s algorithm: this app recommends a lot of content to its users by using an algorithm system that you should take advantage of by well defining your target and using well-chosen keywords.
  • KOLS: Here again, a collaboration with one or several influencers is a good way to gain brand awareness and users’ trust.
Health Supplements Market in China; sell vitamins on douyin

Build trust first, then advertise and sell like crazy on e-commerce platforms

The market of vitamins and dietary supplements is a niche segment and it can offer your company many opportunities due to social changes in China and the consumers’ health consciousness.

But it’s important to understand that foreign vitamin supplements and health products in China are relatively new and Chinese consumers need to trust and learn about a brand first, before trusting it and purchasing any product.

This is why, before entering big marketplaces like Tmall or JD.com, it’s crucial to build brand awareness and focus on good e-reputation. Then, you can start a flagship store on one of those platforms, look for online distributors etc.

Health Supplements Market in China: vitabiotics on Tmall

Do you want to market your food supplements in China?

Need a Cost-Effective Agency? We are a China-based marketing agency specializing in digital marketing and e-commerce solutions for Western brands interested in entering the Chinese market.

We have more than 10 years of experience and a team of Chinese and foreign experts that will be happy to help you with your China journey.

Our agency already worked with many companies in the health supplements industry and we have the experience and know-how needed for your success in health supplements in China.

Don’t hesitate to leave us a comment or contact us, so that we can schedule a free consultation with one of our experts, that will learn about your brand and assist you with selecting the best solutions for your brand. Let’s start today!

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  1. How to promote and sell masssivly on tmall ?
    do you have a concrete example of it works?
    What budget Brand need to invest ?

    1. Yes we have a great case study that we can share with you. 😉
      Investment for an ambitious Brand start at 100k$ per year.

  2. It is true that this market has a big segment which is the older generation. In my entourage, my grandmother’s generation is in love with ampoules and vitamins. But it is also very trendy among young Chinese who also are big fans of this type of product, especially if it is from a foreign brand.

  3. Hello,
    We are a online distributor and we want to partner with foreign brand of dietary products or health supplement.
    contact me and give me details

    1. Hello, we are a company from Germany with a health supplement Made in Germany. You can add me on WeChat: MirsadMIG.

    2. this is Ghaith Jaber from Bristol Health ltd.

      First, we would like to introduce ourselves as Bristol Health Ltd, we are a global nutraceutical company specializing in manufacturing food supplements in solid dosage forms ( tablets, capsules, syrups, and sachets ). The main manufacturing site is based in Bristol, UK.
      Bristol Health Ltd. manufactures and operates following the high British standards for good manufacturing practice and food safety.
      We have a broad range of services.
      Significantly, we would like to highlight the main two :

      1. Contact manufacturing and private label services.
      2. We have an extensive range of Products Portfolio and Brands.

      Let us share with you Bristol Health Ltd. company profile (enclosed above )

      Accordingly, and as mentioned earlier, we always strive to find companies that can have a mutual and long-term business relationship that can add a significant remark by uniting both efforts. Thus, we would like to offer our services and to be tailored to your needs.
      in attached you could find our products list.

      We are looking forward to receiving your kind feedback on the above.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing the subjects. It’s good to know much of this thing.
    What s updates about Vitamins in China on Crossborder in 2024?

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