The 2016-2020 National Fitness Plan approved by China’s State Council set ambitious targets to improve the fitness of Chinese citizens and increase participation in sport. President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, has pointed to public health as a fundamental requirement of a successful and well-off society.
Internet retailing reinforced its position as the dominant distribution channel in sports nutrition between 2014 and 2019, gaining value share annually throughout the review period. The strength of e-commerce is founded on its extensive reach across both urban and rural areas; competitive pricing, including aggressive discounting during events such as the 618 shopping festival on JD.
Sports protein powder remains the dominant product in sports nutrition, embraced as it is by core users such as body-builders and athletes, as well as benefiting from increasing interest from more casual exercisers. However, the trend towards participation in sports and regular exercise amongst the general population is generating opportunities for the diversification of sports nutrition, both within sports protein powder and beyond.
Xiwang Foodstuffs Co Ltd maintained a strong lead in sports nutrition in 2019. The company’s MuscleTech brand benefits from having made an early market entrance and establishing a relatively large base of local consumers.
Multinational brands, including MuscleTech, Myprotein, Optimum Nutrition, Nutrend, MET-Rx and GNC, have gained strong positions in the sports nutrition category in China. In many cases, these brands benefit from early market entry and recommendations from fitness trainers in gyms, which have enabled them to build strong reputations amongst local consumers.
While multinational brands are strong in sports nutrition, domestic brands have also established a significant presence and are working to take advantage of the growing opportunities deriving from the boom in interest in physical fitness in the market. By-health Co Ltd’s GymMax brand gained share annually following its launch in 2015.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Health market research database.