Soon after the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, vitamin C witnessed a boost in sales as consumers looked to boost their immunity in the face of the virus. On 22 January, the Shanghai Health Committee announced that vitamin C could be used clinically to prevent infection with the virus.
Pre-natal multi-vitamins have seen an increase in demand in the Chinese market since the government repealed the one-child policy, bolstered by rising purchasing power and increasing health-awareness. Consumers in high tier cities tend to prefer products from international brands, such as Elevit, though domestic brand, Scrianen, is preferred in lower tier cities.
By-health Co Ltd has significantly closed the gap on leader, Amway (China) Co Ltd, in the vitamins category. E-commerce sales takes up about 20% of By-health’s total sales value in the Chinese market.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the consumer trend towards increased health-consciousness and, particularly, strengthened interest in adopting preventive health measures and looking to achieve optimal states of wellness, rather than waiting to treat symptoms when they arise. During the pandemic, vitamin products have been a central focus of consumers’ increasing interest in developing a holistic, preventive approach, and the further evolution of this broader trend during the forecast period, therefore, has the potential to provide a significant boost to demand in the category.
While the health and wellness trend is boosting demand for vitamins, it is also exerting a growing influence on the development of a wide range of other product categories, both within consumer health and beyond. It is, for example, inspiring the introduction of health-orientated packaged food and beverage products fortified with vitamins and minerals, as well as other functional ingredients.
The development of vitamins is likely to be bolstered during the forecast period by the expanding presence of pharmaceutical companies in the category. CSPC Innovation Pharmaceutical, a subsidiary of CSPC Pharmaceutical, announced an IPO in 2019, one of a number of "locomotive" events for local pharmaceutical enterprises to develop their presence in the nutrition and health industry.
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